Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heritage Festival and Historic Home Tour! Part 1

One of the surest signs that the Fall season is approaching are the festivals popping up all over the place. This past weekend I went to one here in town on the grounds of our local Historical Society, owned and operated by the city as a public park, Nifong Park.

This is one of the few historic homes/properties here in town that I would actually love to own. I love it so much that when my children were young we (and hubby) spent many a late afternoon here in the front yard lounging on our quilt, picnic hamper filled with good food and a fun game or two of croquet, frisbee and catch. Secretly I pretended this was our house. 

And it could have been back in 1970 (if I would not have been a baby at the time) when the property was up for sale for the very first time since it was built in 1877. If the Historical Society wouldn't have convinced the City to purchase this historic property it would have been dozed down and a shopping mall would be here at this very spot today! So many thanks to the Historical Society and the City!

The house is in the Italianate style and the original homestead included 427 acres surrounding the house. It was named Maplewood because of its setting among a large sugar maple grove on the farm. (The City purchased 60 acres out of the original 427 acres.)
Below is a north side view. The light you see in the window is in the kitchen, the front part is the formal parlor.

Okay! Enough of the outside, let's go inside!

The first room you'll see after entering through the front door is the front hall/foyer area with its beautiful walnut staircase and wonderful wallpaper. The rug is a remnant of the formal parlor carpet...doesn't look so hot with that wallpaper though. 

Turning to the right you'll find the formal parlor. The carpet looks better in this room. Sort of. They say it is a repro of the original. Love the wallpaper in here too and the oil painting! Most of the furniture throughout the house are the original furnishings that were purchased with the house.

Another view of this beautiful room...

A close up of the tea set, from the above photo. I wanted to turn it over and check out the marking but decided against it. Hmmm....

Leaving the room this is another view of the front hall. I WANT THAT MIRROR! 

Going down the hall and turning left is a view of the gentleman's parlor (I believe that is what they called it). 

Below is a photo of Lavinia (Lenoir) Nifong. She was the only daughter to the original owners of this home. Her parents (Slater and Margaret Lenoir), she and her husband (Frank Nifong) were the only one's to ever live here. In 1905, she and Dr. Nifong moved into the home. It was at this time the house was wired for electricity and bathrooms were added.

An oil painting in the music room. Isn't it huge? Sorry it's a little blurry.

Moving on into the dining room...

and into the kitchen. Don't you love these tall built in cabinets? The china on the left is the same pattern as the tea set I showed you in the formal parlor.

And on the left side is their family monogrammed china. At Christmas they usually set the dining room table with this. Very pretty!

Upstairs, the first bedroom you come to is this quest bedroom, on the other wall is a fireplace and beautiful walnut wardrobe (sorry no picture).

This is a feather mattress on this bed. Isn't the quilt beautiful?

And stepping into the master bedroom you'll find this absolutely gorgeous walnut bed! My favorite piece in the whole house! 

Here's the matching dresser...

And look what I found in this room! Ohhh, more dolls! They may be long lost cousins to my dolls. Hmmm...
This bedroom was the seamstress' bedroom. The family lived so far out of town at the time, that when the seamstress came she would need to spend the night. 

And I spotted this antique shellwork box! You know how I love those! 

Well, that is it for the inside. A few of the outbuildings include the carriage house and inside you'll find a buggy, coupe and fringe-topped surrey. They are usually on display for the festival but were not this year.

And I believe they said this one was once the outdoor kitchen. It looks more like servants quarters. So I don't know.

Okay, I think I had better stop here but I will post a part 2 of this festival another day so it won't be quite so long. I don't want to lose you guys to boredom. The next post will show what else is on the grounds, historic building wise, and a little of the festival. So please come back for Part 2.
As always thankyou so much for visiting and taking the time to read my posts and for leaving such nice comments.


  1. Hi Gina, such a lovely house. I would also be tempted to look at the name on the tea set. It is striking. Thanks for sharing such a lovely home.

  2. I think it's a dream come true house! So beautiful! A perfect step back in time.....I would have waited to see if anyone was around then I would've checked out that tea set too *winks*....Well a girls gotta learn right? I'm looking forward to the rest of the tour. Vanna

  3. What a great house! I love it!!!! I wish I had those big built-in cabinets for dishes. It's really cool that they have a lot of the original owner's furniture and the decor, and even their china! I think the colors of the carpet in the parlour seem a little "wild" to modern eyes, but that was the height of style for the 1870s as you probably know...colors also looked different in gas light as opposed to electric light.

  4. What a delightful way to spend an autumn afternoon. I love the smal chairs that are near the tea table. So dainty. A picnic on the lawn sounds so peaceful! Looking forward to your next installment.


  5. No boredom here!
    Thanks for the tour - the photos are beautiful!
    I have to admit that I love how you stated when having a picnic on the lawn years ago you would pretend that it was your home.
    I've done the same in my neck of the woods...
    Thanks for a fine post.

  6. I never tire of seeing lovely places like the one posted. I could keep looking for hours (this is why I never get anything done around here) I love gazing at blogs like yours. The china was well taken care of by the owners back then, I think the dishwasher has ruined most of mine. The gold mirror in the entrance reflects the stairway , I like that.
    Looking forward to part two
    Happy Monday

  7. Thanks for the tour, Gina. I love touring old and historical houses and this one's really lovely...Christine

  8. Ma che bello!Sia fuori che dentro!Che belle porcellane,arredi e bambole!Grazie del tour!Baci,Rosetta

  9. Oh Gina, what beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for posting them! Feel like I was right there with you! Can't wait for part 2.

  10. What a fabulous old property! Your photos are wonderful. So many beautiful old furnishings. A perfect fall outing. Thanks!

  11. Hi Gina,
    Such a beautiful house. Thank you for the tour. Love it!

  12. Dear Gina .. Thank You for taking me along for the tour... I love those high white kitchen cupboards , just like my grandmothers and all those lovely china pieces... The wall paper is interesting too..very unusual designs in some of the rooms especially the B/W geometric one...I love all those old portraits too...Gorgeous!!!! Hugs