The Neighborhood Tour of Historic Kernersville

By Patty Stone

In January 2017, Circle #2 of Main Street United Methodist (MSUMC) was brainstorming about a new way to raise money for its yearly donations to local agencies. We were tired of the tried and true bake sales, yard sales, and the like. We wanted to put our efforts into a new and exciting project. One of our members suggested a tour of homes. Her women’s group in Pilot Mountain had previously been successful hosting one. We jumped at the idea because it had been several years since the Kernersville Historic Preservation Society (KHPS) had held their wonderful walking tour in the historic district of Kernersville.

After consulting a KHPS member, we thought the time was right to revive the tour. We thought newcomers and longtime residents alike would enjoy such an event. We had almost a year to plan so we got busy! We saw this as a way to get to know our Main Street neighbors and them to get to know us.

Everyone pitched in to make the 2017 Tour a huge success. The homeowners generously opened their homes for our cause. Chara Murray, of Firefly Design, not only agreed to open her home for the Tour, but also designed and donated our beautiful yard signs. Church office staff helped immensely with designing, printing, and selling our tickets. Circle and other church members and friends helped with decorating, providing refreshments, and greeting guests at the homes and churches. Now, everyone is ready to help again this year.

On December 15, it will happen again–but bigger and better! Ten Locations are opening their doors to us. The Kernersville Moravian Church is excited to show off its newly renovated 1867 historic Chapel. You can also visit its 1992 Sanctuary while sampling Moravian Cookies and Cider.

The Kernersville Woman’s Club opened the historic Community House on Salisbury Street for friends to gather and visit. They too will be open again this year to tell the story of the Community House and how they help to maintain this Kernersville treasure.

MSUMC Circle members and members of the Church History Committee will welcome visitors into our 1995 Sanctuary to see our Chrismon Tree. Our 1923 historic Chapel will also be open. There is no better time than during the Christmas Season to stroll through the “neighborhood” and get a glimpse inside some of the interesting and historic places around us.

The Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (PJCBG) will open their Carriage House Ballroom and host performances by The Heart of the Triad Choral Society at 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30pm. While listening to the singing, you can enjoy some light refreshments. The ballroom and lobby will be beautifully decorated by Garden staff and the gift shop will be open for business!

Also opening for us this year, is the historic Gibson House which is located right next door to The Folly. It has been wonderfully renovated and opened this year as a Bed and Breakfast known as the Gibson House Inn.

Mae’s Vintage Kitchen, in the beautiful Harmon House, will be open and has provided coupons to ticketholders for 15% off a meal good through March 2020. While in the neighborhood, you might want to make time to visit Körner’s Folly and see their beautiful Christmas decorations (for an additional charge).

Besides all these wonderful places, four beautiful, historic, private homes on Main Street and Salisbury Street will be open for the tour. You will be delighted to see these unique homes and how they have been renovated, updated, and decorated. The private homes are The Nathanial Macon Kerner House (1857), The Isaac Harrison McKaughan House (1875), The Arthur Joyce House 1925) and The Henry C. Körner House (1892).

Another highlight of this year’s tour will be carriage rides along the tour route by Heritage Farm. Rides are included in the ticket price, thanks to the generous donations of Soggy Bottom Waterproofing, Brooke Cashion and Associates–Allen Tate Realtors, The Gibson House Inn, and R. Hedgecock Fine Art & Framing. Although this is a walking tour, you might choose to hop off and on the carriage. There is parking available at several locations: MSUMC, Kernersville Moravian Church, The Community House, PJCBG, and on Pine View Street. You may visit the locations in any order.

The Neighborhood Tour will take place on Sunday, December 15 from 2pm until 5pm with Carriage rides from 1:30pm until 5:30pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and are available at MSUMC Church Office (306 S. Main Street) Monday-Thursday, 9am until 4pm. You can call the church office for more information at
336-993-3411. Tickets should also be available at The Community House on the day of the Tour for $20.

The event will take place rain or shine with no makeup date or refunds. ALL money raised will be donated to community agencies, such as The Shepherds Center, Crisis Control, The Christmas Stocking Fund, The Share the Warmth Program, and hopefully more. Join us for this fun event to help support our local agencies and celebrate the rich heritage of Kernersville.

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