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Antebellum homes open doors for holiday tour


Jan Swoope



Garlands and greenery, themed trees and period decor will greet visitors touring five antebellum landmarks during Saturday's Holiday Home Tour presented by the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation. 


Two daytime tours and one candlelight tour will showcase Ole Magnolia and Waverley Mansion from 10 a.m. to noon; Amzi Love and Rosedale from 2 to 4 p.m.; and Ole Magnolia and Temple Heights from 6 to 8 p.m.  


Tickets for each two-hour tour are $10 at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center at 300 Main St. Or, purchase tickets to all three tours for $25. 


"We hope everyone will come out and share the Christmas season with us Saturday," invited Leigh Imes. Leigh and Gene Imes own Rosedale, located at 1523 Ninth St. S. The circa 1856 Italianate features a renowned collection of mid-19th century antiques. 


Melanie Snow, of the Robert Snow family, owners of Waverley Mansion said, "For nearly 160 years, Waverley has entertained people from all over the world, from all walks of life. We hope visitors will stroll at leisure through the mansion decorated in keeping with an 1800's Christmas."  


Rooms at Waverley, located about 1 mile east of Highway 50 between Columbus and West Point, will be decorated in themes ranging from "Feathered Friends" and "Fruits and Flowers" to "Toyland" and "Waiting for St. Nick." 


At Ole Magnolia, owners Pete and Lee Tortorici, are putting up six trees for tour patrons visiting them at 1219 Third Ave. N. 


"I'm so excited; I love Christmas, and I've never had a house that really appreciates my enthusiasm," said and laughed Lee Tortorici. This winter will mark her second in the c. 1854 structure. 


"I let each room dictate the style of tree: One is a woodland theme, one is done in sugared fruit and gold leaves," said the former interior designer. "One is country primitive, one in pale green, silver and crystal, one decorated with German and Austrian carved ornaments, and another done in reds and golds."  


At Sid and Brenda Caradine's circa 1848 Amzi Love, at 305 Seventh St. S., tourgoers will enjoy the seamless blend of Italianate, Greek Revival and Gothic Revival influences in a home still occupied by descendants of the original builder. 


The Holiday Tour concludes with candlelight. Temple Heights, at 515 Ninth St. N., joins Ole Magnolia on the evening bill. Dixie Butler's circa 1837 home surrounded by 14 stately Doric columns features a museum-quality collection of decorative arts. 


On this last full weekend before Christmas, organizers and homeowners hope families and their guests will take the opportunity to glimpse into a bygone era festively adorned for the season. 


For more information about the holiday tour or daily year-round tours of select antebellum homes, contact the CVB at 800-920-3533, or the Welcome Center at 662-328-0222.


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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