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2018 Riparian Christmas Home Tour

Holtkamp Home Featured on 2018 Riparian Home Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia is pleased to have the home of John and Jenny Holtkamp, located at 202 Shore Drive, Emporia, on the 16th Christmas Home Tour. The Holtkamps are from Iowa. Our community welcomes those who move into our community and become leaders. Jenny has taken on the role of Riparian Woman’s Club President for the next two years for which we are grateful.

The Holtkamp home, formally known as the Harrell home, is a beautiful gambrel roofed house built in 1972 and boasts a spacious floor plan with 4316 sq ft, five bedrooms and 3 ½ baths. The flowing floorplan depicts hardwood floors throughout, beautiful moldings and craftsman construction revealing spacious rooms. The sunroom was designed to bring the beauty of the backyard into the home with a 180 degree view of the sloping wooded lot surrounding the back of the house.

Upon entering the front door is the foyer with oak steps where the banister is trimmed in garland. To the right, the formal dining room table is set with black depression glass dinnerware. A Christmas tree is nestled in the corner and decorated in red and gold ornaments. To the right of the foyer, the formal living room has a simple old fashion Christmas theme with the tree decorated in pinecones.

Moving straight through the foyer is a small hall leading to the back of the home. Passing through the family room is the sunroom which is the family Christmas room. There is a nine foot live Christmas tree decorated with the children’s ornaments received by the grandmother over the years. Small vine wreaths adorn the windows.

The bedrooms on the second floor all have their own Christmas trees decorated with the different themes of each room, from nautical to old fashion bikes to beach cottage themes.

The beautiful condition of this home is proof that this house has always been more than just a house, it is a HOME!

The Holtkamps and the Riparians wish each of you a very Merry Christmas as you tour their home.

Others whose homes on tour are Fortsville, owners David and Jessica Yoder, Kenny Newcomb and Steve Smith, Mary Anne Renner and Mark and Wendi Simmons.

The tour will take place on Friday, December 7 and Saturday December 8. Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the E-G Chamber of Commerce, Peanut Patch in Courtland, any Riparian member or by calling 434-594-4369.

Courtland Home Featured on Emporia Riparian’s Christmas Tour

Christmas has arrived at the home of Mark and Wendi Simmons located at 28005 Southampton Parkway, Courtland, Va. Mark and Wendi will open their doors to welcome you into their beautiful home to celebrate the 16th Riparian Woman’s Club’s Christmas Home Tour.

The home was built in 1937 and sits on the family farm that totals 240 acres.  The farm currently is farmed by the brothers of Mark Simmons.  Mark’s father, Gus Simmons and his brother, Kilby farmed the land for over 40 years prior to David and Donnie Simmons taking over the farming business.   Wendi, a Southampton County School Counselor, is a former resident of Emporia where she lived until 2013.  Mark is the Procurement Manager for Birdsong Peanut Company in Suffolk, VA. 

The two story farm home was purchased by Wendi and Mark in 2013.  The prior owners were Mark’s parents who bought the home in the early 1950’s.  The home was added on to in the early 1970’s with the addition of closing in a screened in porch and adding on to it.  This room is where the current owners spend most of their time.  Also added on was a first floor bedroom and large family room. 

In 1999, the home had a fire where the formal living room had significant damage, but the majority of the home had smoke damage.  Renovations were done including adding oak hardwood floors to the formal dining room and living room.  The original hard wood oak flooring is still in the foyer and upstairs. 

In November 2013, the Simmons’ purchased the home after the death of Edith and Gus Simmons.  Prior to moving in, they renovated the entire house including painting, adding on a master bath and knocking down the wall from the kitchen to the sunroom to create one large room. They also removed doors to a closet and turned it into a sports bar area that has pictures of Mark’s favorite golfers and his favorite team the VT Hokies. . The hall bath was also completely gutted and a new one was built. The farm house also has a walk in attic that covers the length of the house.  In 2014 they added on a large carport.

As you enter from the back (the main entrance) you walk into a large utility room with an attached pantry.  Next is a spacious updated kitchen with new hardwood floors and a center island that was added in 2015.  The open kitchen/sunroom has picturesque views of the family farm as well as a collection of Mr. Peanut/Planters items that Mark collects.  The dining room houses Wendi’s collection of Christmas China, started by her mother in law and a beautiful table left to the owners from Mark’s parents, as well.    Also in the dining room is a piece of furniture built by Wendi’s great uncle, Freeman Harrell, who was also a family friend to the Simmons’.  The formal living room was turned into a 2nd den and used as such.  The large family room has handmade bookcases built in on both sides of the room.  The original fireplace remains as well. The fireplace was painted in 2016 by Wendi to lighten up the room.  Pictures of family and friends add a warmth to the room.  You can’t help but notice the presence of the family dog, 18 year old Sam, as pictures of him are all throughout the home.

What is so special about the home is that most of the furniture belonged to family members of both Wendi and Mark.  A china cabinet that belonged to Wendi’s maternal great- grandmother, Evelyn Everett, and then to her grandmother, Marie Goodwyn, sits in the front den.  The guest bedroom bed belonged to Wendi’s paternal grandfather Bryan Harrell.  Her father, Michael Harrell, recently handed down a Lane Cedar Trunk from World War II that his father gave Wendi’s grandmother, Marie Pope Harrell.  Also special, is a bookshelf handmade by Wendi’s maternal grandfather, John “Sonnybuck” Householder.   Many other pieces the couple obtained belonged to Mark’s parents and several pieces belonged to two of his aunts, Bernice Gillette and Ruth Babb. 

Christmas is a special time in the Simmons home as you will find Wendi’s collection of Possible Dream Santas.  Her mother, Brenda Harrell, started her collection in December of 1999, when she purchased her home in Emporia.  Since then, she has collected over 85 Santas.  The home also has a collection of approximately 7 trees that are decorated in themes from nautical to a travel tree.  The banister leading upstairs has lit greenery with a special collection of Christmas Cards giving it a personal touch.  Both Wendi and Mark enjoy decorating for Christmas. 

Don’t miss this home as it shouts Merry Christmas in every room!

Others whose homes are on the tour are John and Jenny Holtkamp, Fortsville, owned by David and Jessica Yoder, Kenneth Newcomb and Steve Smith and Mary Ann Renner.

Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the E-G Chamber of Commerce, Peanut Patch Shoppe, Courtland, and any Riparian member or by calling 434-594-4369.

2018 Riparian Woman's Club Christmas Home Tour Features the Renner Home

The Riparian Woman’s Club 16th Christmas Home Tour is pleased to have the home of Mary Ann Renner on tour this year. Mary Ann Renner extends a warm holiday welcome into her charming one-story three-bedroom ranch style home built in 2017 and located at 502 River Road, Emporia.

Upon entering, the great room is furnished with comfortable seating and immediately the feeling of the holiday season abounds with Christmas decorations. Mary Ann has a talent for decorating and it will be evident throughout the home. The dining/kitchen area is large and decorated beautifully for the season. Her collection of ceramic roosters and wall hangings are shown off here. She is very proud of her grandmothers antique ninety-year old Helpmate sewing machine. The dining table and chairs and the china hutch were hand painted by her friend. One will notice the unique kitchen island, previously an entertainment center and now a creation by Mary Ann. She knows how to make something old become something new.

    

There is one very special bedroom in the home and it is granddaughter Ellie’s room. The white furniture and the touches of pink speak to a little seven-year old girl. Mary Ann refers to the master bedroom as the Williamsburg Room. She grew up in Williamsburg and has a warm spot in her heart for the colonial area. All the furniture and some of the pictures are from Williamsburg.

Mary Ann loves Christmas and is particularly proud of her “Jim Shores” collection.

Others whose homes on tour are John and Jenny Holtkamp, Mark and Wendi Simmons,  Fortsville, owned by David and Jessica Yoder and the home of  Ken Newcomb and Steve Smith.

Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the E-G Chamber of Commerce, Peanut Patch, in Courtland, any Riparian member or by calling 434-594-4369.

Newcomb-Smith House on Christmas Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club is excited to include the home of Ken Newcomb and Steve Smith on the Christmas Home Tour to be held on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. It is a home that many locals are familiar with and will be thrilled to see all the antiques throughout the home. It is located at 208 Church Street.

Sometimes referred to as the “Tillar House,” or the “Virginia Green House,” the two story, brick colonial house situated on the northeast corner of Church and Ingleside streets, was built in 1928 by William T, Tillar, Jr. and member of a prominent Emporia family. From what can be determined, the original home had four rooms downstairs, four rooms upstairs, three and a half bathrooms and a full, walk-out basement. In the 1940’s, Mr. Tillar added a two story addition to the back of the house. The top story of the addition, which is on the same level as the main floor of the original dwelling, is a large, eat-in kitchen with a walk-in pantry, laundry closet and half bath. The bottom story is a single car garage accessible from Ingleside Street, and is open to the basement.

In the 1990’s, another two story addition was added to the back of the previous addition by Virginia Green, a former Zigfield Follies girl who owned the house at that time. The upper level of this addition is a large bedroom and bathroom.  A recreation room is below.

The present day home, purchased in 2011 by current owners, Steve Smith and Kenny Newcomb, features four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, formal living and dining rooms, a family room, an eat-in kitchen, recreation room, two additional half baths, an office, a garage and a basement.

    

The interior of the home is eclectically decorated with a mixture of old and new furnishings of different styles and materials collected over the past thirty years by the owners.  When entering the home through the front door, the formal dining room is accessed through the French doors to the left. Featured here is a large, leaded crystal chandelier purchased in Germany by its original owner. Displayed in the china cabinets are many pieces of Noritake and Occupied Japan china, Waterford crystal and silver.

To the right, is the formal living room. The focal point of the room is the cherry baby grand piano. Built-in shelves, a serpentine curio cabinet, and the fireplace mantel display many interesting objects, books and lamps, many of which are vintage. Many family photographs and an original oil painting can also be found here. French doors next to the fireplace lead out to the columned screened porch which runs the depth of the original part of the house.

Toward the back of the house and to the left is the family room, a rectangular shaped room with a three-sided bump-out. The décor here is oak, leather and iron. A stained glass window set into the sixteen inch thick wall separating the family room and kitchen gives an added touch of color. Some of the artwork on the walls here are prints by local artists.

The remaining two rooms on the main floor of the house are the large eat-in kitchen and the master bedroom. Shelves in the kitchen display more objects collected over the years: figurines, cookie jars, decanters, and even an old juke box controller. A door at the back of the kitchen leads to the master bedroom, a large room with its own bathroom and walk-in closet. The room is decorated with a mix of antique and traditional style furniture.

Ken and Steve look forward to showing you their beautifully decorated home. A must see.

Others whose homes on tour are Mary Ann Renner, John and Jenny Holtkamp, Mark and Wendi Simmons, and Fortsville, proprietors, David and Jessica Yoder.

Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the E-G Chamber of Commerce, Peanut Patch in Courtland, any Riparian member or by calling 434-594-4369.

Fortsville Kicks off Christmas Home Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, Virginia is once again delighted in presenting the 16th Christmas Home Tour on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. The tour begins with the area’s only Airbnb owned by David and Jessica Yoder.

Welcome to Fortsville, also known as the home of John Y. Mason, (1799-1859) who was born in Hicksford, Greensville County. The plantation home is located in Sussex County in the Grizzard community. The stately home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmark Register. Once located on a 1000- acre farm, today stands on approximately four acres. Fortsville has the original flooring, doors, hardware and features eight fireplaces. The bricks used during an earlier restoration were made on the farm.

    

The original owners of Fortsville were John Fort and Olive Coleman whose daughter, Mary Ann, married John Y. Mason. Mason was a prominent politician who served in the Virginia House of Delegate, Virginia State Senate, US Congress, US Judge, twice as US Secretary of Navy, and US Attorney General.

The overview of the past history of Fortsville leads to what is happening presently at this grand old plantation. Fortsville was acquired in 2017 by Jessica and David Yoder. The Yoder’s are known locally for Pineview Greenhouses. They acquired this home with exciting plans for its future. Today, it is the latest local venue for all kinds of celebrations to include, parties, family and class reunions, meetings and more. It is the areas only Airbnb! The four-bedroom Airbnb is located in a quiet Southern Virginia rural setting where one can relax in the peaceful countryside while enjoying nature.

The new Fortsville will be decorated for the Christmas Holiday season. A must see on the tour. Fortsville is located at 5088 Fortsville Rd, Emporia, in the Grizzard community.

Others whose homes on tour are John and Jenny Holtkamp, Ken Newcomb and Steve Smith, Mary Ann Renner and Mark and Wendi Simmons.

Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, from any Riparian Club member or by calling 434-594-4369.

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