City Sidewalks#039; a glowing success

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Bells jingled as horse and buggy clipped-clopped by and candle-lit luminarias lined

some of the city's oldest streets on Saturday.

The occasion was Main Street's City Sidewalks' holiday tour of historic homes and other sites located within easy walking distance in the heart of the Camellia City.

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Visitors from cities including Daphne, Foley, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and as far away as Decatur flocked to Greenville last weekend to enjoy beautiful decorations, fun horse-and-buggy rides, friendly faces, historic architecture and delicious refreshments available from 2-7 p.m.

Four historic homes, two churches, a bed and breakfast and downtown's Ritz Theater were all included on the holiday walking tour, the first ever sponsored by the Main Street organization-one the group hopes will become a favorite annual event here in the Camellia City.

"We had such a wonderful turnout…I couldn't believe the number of out-of-towners who came for the tour," exclaimed Main Street President Nancy Idland, who proclaimed Saturday's sunny, mild weather

was "made to order."

Highlights of the tour included the striking trees' created from fresh fruit and greenery that flanked the front doors to the Daughtry home. Inside a delightful Western theme pervaded the children's area of theearly 19th-century home, complete with garlands trimmed with bandannas, rope and lantern lights.

At the Castleberry home a lovely old-fashioned tree decked with candy canes, crocheted ornaments and satin and glass balls greeted visitors. Plates of iced gingerbread men smiled from the cozy teapot-decked breakfast nook and an Auburn-Alabama tree graced the boys' rooms upstairs.

Martin House bed and breakfast was done up in grand style with red and gold ribbons, beaded garlands and apples trimming its staircase and festive Santa figurines looking merry throughout the Victorian grande dame.'

The Frakes home featured several beautiful nativity scenes. Icons painted by the talented Frances Frakes were also on display along with exquisite christening dresses, each hand embroidered by Mrs. Frakes for various members.

In the front of the home, one of the city's oldest and largest magnolia trees glowed after dark with multitudes of white lights.

The lovely Feathers home (Herbert House) featured old-time, traditional trims, perfect for a home built solidly with pegs (no nails) in the old mortise and tenon style.

Visitors were overheard remarking on the beauty of the architecture seen in the local residences and churches, the decorating worthy of a Martha Stewart' spread and the graciousness of the many individuals playing host and hostess on the tour.

"Many volunteers were responsible for helping host the event and for the festive decorations seen throughout the tour, but the chief people in charge of all this were Jill Stallworth at the Castleberry home; Jean Katz and Mary Dearing at the Feathers home; Stedham McGowin at the Frakes home; Tom Braxton at Martin House; Ann Daughtry at her own house; Virginia Rainey at First United Methodist Church; Rosa McGowin at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Roberta Gamble at the Ritz Theater," explained Idland.

"I have had so many calls the last couple of days from visitors from out of town who came and were so impressed with our town …City Sidewalks was truly a success," she added.