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Touring homes by starlight

This year’s Star Light Tour of Homes features four private homes, a church, a business and the Lincoln Cultural Center.
“A lot of (the houses are chosen through) word of mouth,” said Mary Jane Howard, executive director of the Lincoln Arts Council. “Some people volunteer. Some people we get down and beg.”
The tour, now in its fourth year, benefits the Lincoln Arts Council. It begins at the Lincoln Cultural Center and winds its way around Lincolnton.
A reception will be held at the Cultural Center and the art work of Ginny Kolozvari and Don Olsen will be featured.
Last year’s tour featured many grand, beautifully remodeled houses. This year offers up something different.
“We just tried to find sweet little jewels,” said Howard.
One of those jewels is the home of Al and Rosemary Hubbarb on South Cedar Street. It promises to offer up several special touches, the first of which is an army of dolls.
The Hubbarbs have a history of active volunteering for the Salvation Army, and so their house will be filled with Salvation Army dolls marking the organization’s history and two majors dressed in full uniform.
An added touch will be the Lincoln County Family Tree, a Christmas tree holding the names of Lincoln County’s founding families.
“It has a lot of family names that are still very well known,” said Rosemary Hubbarb. “These are people who are the first sheriffs and the first farmers and doctors and ministers.”
When beginning the project, Hubbarb had no idea how much work it would take. The tree currently hosts 200 names.
“I’m in the Ws right now,” she said, “So there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
All the other locations on the annual tour will also be dressed up in their holiday best. They are as follows:

Home of Fred and Betty Houser
619 E. Main St.
The home was built in 1957 for the Housers and is a typical ’50s-type ranch.
The lots upon which the house stands were originally part of the Hopskins-Lipsey home place and were purchased from Thomas E. L. Lipsey Jr.
The house consists of seven rooms, two baths, a full basement and a garage. There are also two fireplaces. The house will be fully decorated in a Christmas theme with some old and unusual items the Housers have collected over the years.

Home of Al and Rosemary Hubbarb
317 S. Cedar St.
The John R. Moore house is typical of the eclectic mix of Queen Anne and colonial revival style in residential architecture that was common at the turn of the 20th century.
It was built by a railroad depot agent, John R. Moore, and his wife, Minnie Bell, in 1909. The porte cochere was added a few years later when automobiles became more common.
It is reportedly the only house in Lincoln County with a corner dome. The house is full of windows and is “a delight to live in.”
The present owners, Allen and Rosemary Hubburb, are the 14th family to occupy the home.

Home of Don and Mary Whisonant
310 S. Cedar St.
The Ramseur-Hover-Whisonant House, a cape-cod style house, was during 1938-39 by B.J. Ramseur and Heim Hoover, who jointly owned Lincoln Milling Company.
The house was rented to Wiley Pickens who was superintendent of Lincolnton City Schools.
The Pickens family remained in the house after Pickens moved to Raleigh. In 1946, Paul Whisonant purchased the house and became part owner of the Lincoln Milling Company.
Irene and Paul Whisonant and their son, Don, made this their home. In the ’50s, they restored the house and acquired the building, which was the former Lincoln Milling Company office, which now serves as their garden/play house for gatherings. Both the house and the “party” house will be on display during the tour.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church
216 S. Aspen St.
The church began as a mission outpost by American Lutherans in 1785.
The current sanctuary was built in 1920 at a cost of $65,000. Emmanuel is one of the congregations which trace its roots back to the Dutch meeting house, which was located across the street from the present building on the corner of S. Aspen and E. Church streets.
The meeting house was built in 1787 and in 1830 was painted and became known as the Old White Church.
The structure burned down in 1895, a brick building was erected and used until 1920 when the current building was completed.

Home of Vicki Yount
330 N. Aspen St.
The Wallace M. Reinhardt house is one of Lincolnton’s oldest and most historic homes. The diminutive, antebellum house was home to Wallace M. Reinhardt, Lincolnton’s first clerk of Superior Court.
It was also home to Victor Fair, Lincolnton’s postmaster from 1940 until 1962.
Local tradition holds that it was once the office of Confederate General Robert E. Hoke.
Throughout the years little house has had many owners, but in May 1996 it was purchased by Vicki Turner Yount and completely restored to its present state. Yount furnished the house with family antiques and decorated the house in a lavish Victorian style.

Once Upon a Time – Gift and Antique Store
102 Court Square
Melea Tucker-Jimenez is the owner of the brand-new shop, which offers a hand-picked variety of special gift items, vintage antiques and unique finds. These include home decor, shabby chic, one-of-a-kind pieces, jewelry, a large selection of toys and traditional gift items for baby and figurines by Tyler and Trapp.

Lincoln Cultural Center
403 E. Main St.
Two story columns and a dome adorn the former First Baptist Church of Lincolnton, which was completed in 1922 at a cost of about $40,000.
Organized in 1859, the congregation’s previous home was built in the 1880s. Their new home was a grand structure designed by Charlotte architect James M. McMichael, a prolific church and hotel designer.
It was greatly enlarged to the rear in 1951, but by 1971, the congregation had built yet another new church.
The old building then housed the Lincoln County Campus of Gaston College until 1991 when it was renovated and became the Lincoln Cultural Center where many arts groups are housed. It also has a history museum.
Want to go? The Star Light Tour of Homes will take place Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. The tour includes seven locations and a reception that will be held at Lincoln Cultural Center. There will be an art exhibit featuring the work of Ginny Kolozvari and Don Olsen entitled “Holiday in the Woods.” The Cultural Center’s Gift Shop will be open during the event. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the center’s gift shop or the council’s office or at the Court Street Grill or Unlimited Perfections. For more information call (704) 732-9044.
by Sarah Grano

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