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Riparian Home Tour

The Elms Featured on Riparian Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to this historic home on the Emporia Riparian Woman’s Club Christmas Home Tour. We are excited that guests will have the opportunity to see this home located in the Town of Jarratt.

The Elms, aka the “Jarratt House”, in Jarratt VA, was originally built in 1833. Burned by Union soldiers in Dec 1864, it was rebuilt on the original footprint in 1866. It’s believed that the 14 inch solid brick walls of the 1st floor survived the fire. The home remained in the Jarratt family until 2012 but had been vacant for several years. It is currently being restored by Kurt Whitehead of Richmond VA. He is the son of Thomas and Cecelia Whitehead, who grew up in Greensville County and currently reside on Lake Gaston. Mr. Whitehead’s family connections to the area are extensive. He is the great, great grandson of Newitt H. Ferguson; one of five local Confederate men who participated in the Hicksford Raid. 

As you enter the grounds, there are two large antique iron urns on brick pedestals. The house, surrounded by massive magnolia and pecan trees, is a raised basement Greek Revival style with Italianate details. A basket weave pattern tumbled brick sidewalk leads to the columned porch and 2nd floor entrance. Since the house is still being renovated, only the 2000 sq. foot 2nd floor containing a hallway, living room, three bedrooms, two baths, and enclosed rear porch are on the tour. There are pine floors, 12 foot ceilings, and 3 of the 4 original fireplaces.

The home is furnished primarily with American Empire antiques from 1820s – 1860s, Victorian, and period reproductions. The walls are hung with antique prints, paintings, portraits and family photos. Throughout the house are many 19th century items like converted oil lamps, bronze and spelter statues, books, clocks, and girandoles.

Upon entering, you will be welcomed into a stately 12 x 38 foot hallway that runs from the front to rear of the house. The dark gray walls are offset by white woodwork, antiques, and artwork. Among the antique hallway furniture are pier tables, sofa, chairs, and a bookcase housing a collection of books printed in the 1800s and early 1900s.

In keeping with the original style, the living room is the most formal room in the house. Over the mantle hangs a 5 ft. x 7 ft. ornate mirror. There is a 12-light vintage French Empire chandelier. The Empire sofa is upholstered in archival reproduction fabric.  Of particular interest are an exceptional antique chair with ormolu mounts and a rosewood marble top cabinet. There is a collection of French ethnography prints from the late 1700s.

    

The bedrooms are furnished with antique and reproduction beds, marble topped dressers, chests, and other furnishings. 

Mr. Whitehead travels extensively for both work and leisure. He has acquired many antiques and decorative items on trips throughout the US, Europe, India, and Central and South America. The house is decorated with fresh and artificial greenery and seasonal décor. In the windows are custom made Christmas candles.  In the hallway is a Christmas tree decorated with ornament that were collected on his travels.

While the home contains 19th century furniture, it also has fully integrated 21st century technology. The house uses smart technology for the heating/AC, security, and entertainment systems. Using a phone App or accessing a computer allows the owner to adjust heating/AC settings, music, volume, and monitor security from any place in the world. 

The owner regrets that the first floor containing formal dining room, library, kitchen and pantry are not available for the tour but he hopes you will return again next year to see the completed home.

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two- year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The tour will include the homes of David and Rosemarie Bland, Mike and Dawn Veliky and the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Capron), Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow of Roanoke Rapids, NC.

Bland Home on Riparian Home Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club welcomes the Bland Home to its 15th Christmas Home Tour. They have completed a renovation project that will showcase a new kitchen and bath which will be the envy of everyone.

David and Rosemarie Bland are proud to present their home for the Christmas tour this year.  David is a fine woodcrafter and has designed and carved many of the wood elements within the home himself.  He loves to do wood carvings and gilding. He has carved, painted and gilded many large and small signs for homes and businesses.  He is involved with the local Boy Scouts of America troop and teaches wood carving and other skills to the young boys.   Rosemarie is a Math Instructional Coach at Franklin Public School Division and is pursuing higher studies in math education. She loves to bake, putting the newly renovated kitchen within the home to good use. 

The Bland Home located on Peachtree Street is referred to as “The old Prince house” and was the first home to be built on this street.   This property was sold to Nannie Prince by W. T Tiller in 1900 on the condition that she had to build a home valued at nothing less than $1000.  The home was completed in 1902 with a recorded value of $1200 in 1903. 

In 1922 the home changed hands and was sold to Mattie and P. E. Prince for $4500.  At some point in the mid 1900’s the home was turned into a rooming house for teachers.  The current owners, David and Rosemarie Bland purchased the home in 1979 and have been in the process of restoring the home to its original grandeur.

Walking up to the house from the street you pass through a beautifully vined arbor leading up the sidewalk to the house.  The front features the original wrap-around porch perfect for sitting on a cool evening sipping on sweet tea and greeting the neighbors.  Upon entering the front door you step into a small entryway which leads into the foyer, with the original oak flooring throughout many of the rooms and features a Virginia Metal Craft reproduction Globe light.   In 1988, due to remodeling of the foyer by previous owners, the Bland’s gutted the foyer all the way back to the studs, taking 3 days of continuous work to remove all the old plaster and lath strip, then restoring it to its original design.  To the right is the staircase with a new banister & landing built by the current owner.  The banister is a replica of the early 1900s and the landing has a checkerboard wood design that blends in perfectly with the original woodwork making it seem that it was part of the original plans. 

To the left is the Blue room accented with white and crystal décor.  The piano is the focal point of the room and once belonged to the Nolde family out of Richmond who owned and operated Nolde Bros. Bakery.  Period reproductions from Biggs, Virginia Metal Craft and others are placed throughout this room giving it a finished touch.  From the Blue room you enter the dining room decorated in reds, golds & greens.   This room features a beautiful Hinkle Harris corner cabinet.  After roaming through the dining room you enter a wide hallway leading towards the rear of the home.  To the left, which was once the pantry, is the newly remodeled powder room with floor to ceiling tiled shower and stained glass window.  The sink is a unique, one-of-a-kind wash basin made from 2,000,000 year old petrified wood.   Proceeding down the hall leads to a newly created kitchen with state of the art appliances, cabinetry, counter tops and flooring and also a family room which overlooks the shady back deck overhung with mature wisteria vines, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, prefect for making delicious meals or hot drinks to snuggle and relax with on a cold evening.  The perfect ending to a hard day of work!

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The tour includes the homes of Mike and Dawn Veliky and the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Capron), Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow of Roanoke Rapids, NC and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt.

Senator Julian Allsbrook's Roanoke Rapids Home on Riparian Christmas Home Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, Va is delighted to add the Dunlow’s beautiful home in Roanoke Rapids, NC  to its 15th Christmas Home Tour. Stephanie Dunlow loves Christmas and it will be evident in the decorations from the moment you approach the home.

The Brown home located in Roanoke Rapids is currently owned by Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow. Stephanie is a former Emporia resident graduating from Greensville High School and is currently a nurse practitioner at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.  Timothy owns his own contracting business in Roanoke Rapids.  They have two children Hayley, 19 & Holden, 13. 

The Brown home was built in 1920 and was completed in 1922. Among the residences of this home was Sen. Julian Allsbrook and his wife Frances Brown-Allsbrook and later their daughter Mary Frances Allsbrook –Fisher.  The home was then sold and fell into disarray until it was purchased by the current owners Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow in 2010.  They have since been renovating it room by room to reveal its splendor. 

This home is a beautiful two story house with the original sunroom on the left and a large enclosed porch on the right.  The front of the home has a covered front porch expanding across the center with a sun terrace on the roof.  The lawn expands over 1 acre with many mature trees shading the property making for a park like setting. 

   

Upon walking through the original solid front door surrounded by evergreen swags and which hangs a huge Christmas wreath is a spacious foyer with oak floors.  The foyer consists of a large banistered staircase which is wrapped in evergreen garland all the way to the second floor during the Christmas season and opens up into the family den on the second floor. 

To the left of the foyer is the formal dining room with white woodwork throughout and a large white mantel surrounding a huge wood burning fireplace which beautifully offsets the black walls.  There are three large front windows which allows for the sunlight to stream in making for a very bright room.  The Mantel is covered in garland come Christmas with a color theme of Green/White & Silver.  On each side of the fireplace are two French doors with the original glass window panes and crystal knobs, which lead out into a tiled sunroom.  This home was the first in this area to lay this type of tiling and it remains intact to this day.  The windows surrounding the sunroom are all original with the original hardware with the crank knobs to open and close the windows.  

To the right of the foyer is the family room.  This room also features a huge fireplace.  And is decorated with a candy cane theme in mind and is one of the owner’s favorite rooms to decorate.  It is a very spacious room expanding from the front of the home to the back of the home with the furniture placed to make for a cozy setting.  Leading off the family room is the side porch which at one time was an open porch with pillars but has since been enclosed by a previous owner. 

    

Slightly to the right in the foyer and towards the back of the home is a temporary kitchen which was installed in what was a den and will be converted back into the den once the renovation of the kitchen is completed.   At the time the home was purchased the original kitchen was in very rough shape with broken water pipes which had ruined the foundation and walls which has resulted in massive construction which is still underway.  The kitchen/den features the original hardwood floor and a large fireplace which is garnished in garland and snowmen for the holidays. 

This is the owners favorite time of year and the decorations will indicate their excitement; a must see home.

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The tour will also include the homes of David and Rosemarie Bland, Mike and Dawn Veliky and the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Capron), and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt.

Riparian Home Tour Features Aspen Lawn

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, Virginia is excited to add Aspen Lawn, located in western Southampton County near US 58, to its 15th Christmas Home Tour. The home is filled with history and you will want to hear its stories of yesteryear while enjoying the beautiful   antique furniture throughout the three-story home.

Jamie and Robin Rawles welcome guests into their home for the Christmas Tour. Aspen Lawn was nominated and placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Since 1749, this property has been handed down from generation to generation. The dwelling was originally constructed in the 1780’s by John Myrick, Sr. The plantation was later owned by his great-granddaughter, Mary Ann Myick, who in 1832 married James Drewry of Cedar Grove in Drewryville, Virginia.  In 1870 Aspen Lawn was renovated for James Drewry’s son, Vernon Thomas Drewry and his new wife, Adrienne deCordaville Powell. Their daughter, Adrienne, was the Grandmother of Robin Boyd Rawles, present owner with her husband, Jamie, and who have restored the home as you see it today.

    

    

As one turns into the driveway the Georgian style, two story, frame dwelling on a high brick basement speaks to the history you are about to experience. Upon entering the first floor, the center passage is flanked by two rooms on each side. Three original fireplaces remain with the indication of a forth fireplace now gone. Of interest is the original grain-painted and marbled woodwork. The original raised panel doors are mahogany and have H-L hinges.

    

A narrow closed stairway ascends to the second floor which was raised from a half story to a full story in the 1820s. At this time the Myricks applied to operate the dwelling as an ordinary.  Drewry family lore described the house as having once been a stagecoach stop. Throughout this floor Greek Revival doors and moldings indicate this later period of construction. A bold curved wall accommodates the symmetrical placement of the façade windows.

The basement is a good place to see the mortise and tenon construction of the immense hand- hewn beams and floor joists, as well as another original fireplace. The brick floor was originally a dirt floor. This is now the Rawles’ kitchen. Country cured hams hang from the ceiling!

 

The furnishings of the old house are notable. Two pieces are original to the house. In the dining room there is an 1820 sideboard made by Norfolk cabinetmaker, James Woodward. In the upstairs SE bedroom is an 1870 Rococo Revival cradle used by the Drewry babies.

In the first floor bedroom is a c.1840 Rococo Revival rosewood bed, dresser, and wardrobe attributed to free black cabinetmaker, Thomas Day. During the War Between the States this suite of furniture was owned by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Proctor who lived in Petersburg. Their home was hit by Union canon shrapnel during the Siege of Petersburg and a piece of the shrapnel remains wedged in the side of the wardrobe today. Don’t miss this seeing this!  Also, in this room note on the wall a copy of the 1863 VMI diploma of Mrs. Rawles’ great-grandfather, Robert Alexander Boyd. On it the words” in these United States” were crossed out and replaced with “in these Confederate States” by the institute!

On the second floor, in the NW bedroom, there is a c.1820 high post bedstead that belonged to the Burwell family of Stoneland in Mecklenburg County, Va.

The home is otherwise furnished with period neoclassical, Greek revival and Victorian pieces.

Other homes on the tour in Emporia are David and Rosemarie Bland, Mike and Dawn Veliky and the Historic Masonic Lodge, the home of Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow in Roanoke Rapids, NC and in Jarratt, the home of Kurt Whitehead.

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Refreshments will be served at the Masonic Lodge on Saturday. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two-year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House in Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The Masonic Lodge

The Riparian Woman’s Club is honored to have this historic building on the Christmas Home Tour.

The Widow’s Son Lodge #150 (Masonic Lodge) was organized and held its first meeting in 1829 at Haley’s Bridge in Greensville County. In 1840 they held meetings in the Hicksford Courthouse until property was purchased for this grand building you are standing in today. The property known as “Lands old store lot” was acquired from William and Helen Land for $650 and in 1905 built an impressive Classical Revival style building. In 1955 another piece of property was purchased from Sallie Baily for $5.00 for purpose of adding an addition at the back of building. In the front of the lodge is one of Virginia’s Historical Markers.

    

The Lodge is under the jurisdiction of The Grand Lodge of Virginia. The Fraternity encourages its members to practice the faith of their personal acceptance with the single purpose “to make good men better.”

In 1850 Dr. Rob Morris, lawyer, educator and mason started The Order of the Eastern Star which is open to both men and women. Its teachings are based on the bible and is open to all faiths. The Emporia Eastern Star was chartered in 1940.

The first floor is now a shop offering clothing and all kinds of household items, donated by the community. The Eastern Star opened the shop about ten years ago and now have been joined by the Masons. The funds are given to the Greensville and Jarratt Fire Departments and are used as well to fund their scholarship programs. You will find the shop neatly organized for easier shopping. Tour guests may make purchases while on tour.

    

The second floor as well as the third floor may be reached from the stairs or the elevator. This floor offers a very large room where the Masons enjoy dinner on their monthly meeting night and the where the Eastern Star has their fellowship time. This room is available for rent to the public. Throughout the building notice the tall windows and ceilings. Time has taken its toll on this grand building and the location near the railroad is largely responsible. Renovation of the ceiling and walls in some areas are in the planning stage.

The Eastern Star membership has prepared refreshments on Saturday for your enjoyment on this floor.

The third floor is the chapter room where the Eastern Star and the Masons hold their monthly meetings. The two aluminum ceiling medallions that adorn the large meeting room were installed by the late Harry S. Klugel! Those who knew Mr. Klugel will appreciate his work.  (Mr. Klugel owned the beautiful Klugel building on E. Atlantic Street.)  In the center of the meeting room is a King James Bible that is always open during the meetings to the book of Matthew. Much of the Eastern Star devotions and study are centered on Matthew and his teachings.  

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

The tour will also include the homes of David and Rosemarie Bland, Mike and Dawn Veliky located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Drewryville), Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow of Roanoke Rapids, NC and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt.

2016 Riparian Home Tour Starts at Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn, in Purdy, VA is the home of Mike and Dawn Veliky, who purchased the property in the summer of 2013.  Mike is the Greensville County Building/Fire Official and Dawn is the Register/Director of Veterans Affairs at Halifax Community College.   

The Southern Colonial home was constructed in 1953 by Wiley and Francis Cole, who operated a working cattle farm on the original 200 plus acres.  Most locals came to know the home a the “The Cole Place”, although it was named Oak Lawn by Mrs. Cole, cue to the many oak trees that once existed in the front yard. Only one massive oak remains today.

The planning and designing of the home was ahead of its time, incorporating such features as walk in cedar lined closets throughout, double vanities in the master suite, a walk in shower, ceramic tiled bathrooms, circuit breakers instead of fuses, and under floor electric radiant heat throughout the home.  The home was constructed with steel and concrete floors over the basement, four fireplaces, a 12 inch thick poured concrete basement with over 8 feet of headroom, slate roof, insulated interior walls, nine foot ceiling throughout both stories and a full room width built in china cabinet in the large dining room. 

    

When the Velikys purchased the property in 2013, the home and grounds had unfortunately suffered from several years of neglect, due to the failing health and eventual passing of first, Mr. Cole, then Mrs. Cole a few short years later.  Even so, the Velikys were able to recognize the excellent quality of the materials and workmanship that went into the original construction, and decided to take on the challenge of restoring the home to its original splendor and charm.  Their vision is to keep the traditional southern architecture prominent, but to enhance the rear yard area with landscaping and features that personify their love of the outdoors and tropical lifestyle.  In the summer months, Mexican Petunias, banana and palm trees, night blooming Primroses and soft accent lighting add to the tropical feel out back, while the blooming crepe myrtles, fragrant hydrangeas, slate walkways, rockers, and shy blue ceiling of the front porch recreate a Charleston like atmosphere at the main entry.

Mike and Dawn are slowly restoring and renovating everything themselves, and thus far have remodeled the kitchen, added an in-ground fiberglass kidney shaped pool, outdoor shower, pool house/Tiki bar and stamped concrete patio.  Future plans include modifying a rear den into a sunroom overlooking the pool area, and renovating all three bathrooms.  Mike is interested in energy conservation and new technology, and has equipped the home with a security system and cameras, wifi, and is currently installing a hybrid solar heat pump system, which uses solar energy to convert the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas, reducing the load on the compressor.  He also plans to install a reflective radiant barrier in the full height attic, to assist with energy conservation. 

This is a gorgeous home and will be decorated for the Christmas holidays in evergreen swags up the curving banister leading to the second floor and around all four fireplace mantels.  There will be several decorated Christmas trees throughout and a snowman in the entryway to greet the guests.

The tour will include the home of David and Rosemarie Bland and the Historic Masonic Lodge located in Emporia, the home of Jamie and Robin Rawles of Southampton County (Drewryville), Timothy and Stephanie Dunlow of Roanoke Rapids, NC and Kurt Whitehead of Jarratt.

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, VA will once again present the 15th Christmas Home Tour. The tour will be Friday, December 2 from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 3 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Refreshments will be served at the Masonic Lodge on Saturday. The proceeds will go toward the Community Improvement Project, a two year project, to make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Tickets are $13 and are available from Riparian members, Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or Paws, Purrs, and Hers, Nottoway House, Courtland or by calling 434-594-4369.

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