The historic Hale Springs Inn will be among the seven stops on this year's tour. Rogersville Heritage Association photo.
ROGERSVILLE — The annual Rogersville Heritage Association Christmas tour of homes will be a little bit different this year in that the emphasis in 2013 is less on historical structures and more on holiday decorating creativity on the part of the hosts.
This year’s tour is scheduled for Dec. 14 between the hours of 3 and 8 p.m., and will feature seven stops in a program that RHA Director Angie Proffitt has dubbed, “Christmas Under Many Roofs.”
Unlike past tours which focused mainly on antebellum homes from the 1800s in and around downtown Rogersville, the 2013 tour involves scenic trips into the country to several “newer” homes outside of the city center.
Although there are some new stops on the 2013 tour, Proffitt said the common thread with past events is that all of the homes will be spectacularly decorated for the holidays.
“The Rogersville Heritage Association’s annual tour of homes is sure to be a highlight of the season for architecture buffs and history enthusiasts alike,” Proffitt said.
This year’s seven stops on the Christmas tour include:
• The First Baptist Church, 119 W. Washington St., Rogersville, which dates back to 1890, although Rogersville’s original Baptist church dates back to 1852. The current church was built in the front yard of its first pastor, William L. Winfrey, and has had a total of 22 pastors in it history.
• The Heck Home, 204 S. Rogers St., Rogersville, which was built in 1950 and purchased by current owners Gene and Nancy Heck in 2009. The house is located on property originally owned by Rogersville founder Joseph Rogers, who also built three taverns there, one of which still stands and is owned by the RHA.
• The Lawson Home, Twin Oaks, 4151 Highway 11-W, which is part of a 100-acre farm owned by Sid and Dorothy Lawson. The home gets its name from twin 200-year-old oaks in the front yard of the house which was constructed in 1994.
• The Markham Home, 216 Holston View Drive, which is an 8,500-square-foot estate home belonging to Shauna Markham which was constructed in 1995. A highlight of the home is spectacular views of the nearby Holston River.
• The Johnson Home, Lazy J Farm, 938 Main St., Surgoinsville, which is part of a 103-acre farm owned by Hugh Kyle and Delores Johnson. The current home was constructed in 1962 on the site of a home where Surgoinsville’s prominent Cox family live. The Cox family home burned down in the late 1950s, but the water pump at the family well remains part of the current home’s landscape.
• The Jenkins home, Two Springs, 183 W. Caney Creek Road, which is the home of Doug and Pamela Jenkins and was constructed in 2003 on a 17-acre tract of the old Anderson Wilder farm. That property, located on the north bank of Caney Creek, has been prominent throughout the history of Hawkins County, and was first settled in the early 1770s by Robert Kyle.
• The Hale Springs Inn, 110 W. Main St., which was constructed in 1824 and most recently restored in 2009. It was also Tennessee’s longest continuously operated inn, having hosted three past presidents including Andrew Jackson, James Polk and Andrew Johnson.
Added attractions include the Cherokee High School Choir performing at the First Baptist Church, the Cherokee Flute Choir at the Hale Springs Inn, and light refreshments which will be served at the Hale Springs Inn.
Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance, and $20 the day of the tour.
All proceeds from the tour are used to benefit the RHA’s historical preservation efforts.
For additional information or tickets by mail, call Proffitt at the RHA depot office at (423) 272-1961.