By Patty Stone
In January of 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 and did it! We saw this as a way to get to know our Main Street neighbors and them to get to know us at Main Street United Methodist Church. Everyone pitched in to make the 2017 Tour a huge success. In December of 2019 we hosted our second successful Main Street Tour with the added attraction of Carriage Rides.
And now on December 17, 2023, after a three-year absence (COVID), it will happen again–but bigger and better! Twelve locations are opening their doors to us. A new highlight of this year’s tour will be Triad Trolleys, offering hop on – hop off rides for tour ticket holders ONLY. Rides are included in the tour ticket price, thanks to the generous donations of Parks GMC. Although this is a walking tour, you might choose to hop on the Trolley. The Trolley Ride will begin and end at MSUMC parking lot beginning at 2pm. There will be guides on the Trolley to point out landmarks along the way. There is also parking available at several locations: MSUMC, Kernersville Moravian Church, The Community House, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, and on Pine View Street. You may visit the locations in any order.
MSUMC Circle members and members of the Church History Committee will welcome visitors into our 1995 Sanctuary to see our Chrismon Tree. You will be able to see how our new Connections space, completed in 2021, unites all our buildings and makes all areas accessible. Our 1923 historic Chapel will also be open.
The Kernersville Woman’s Club will open the historic Community House on Salisbury Street for friends to gather and visit. KWC members will tell the story of The Community House and how they help to maintain this Kernersville treasure. The Kernersville Moravian Church is excited to show off its renovated 1867 historic Chapel. You can also visit its 1992 Sanctuary while sampling Moravian cookies and cider. 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 Korner’s Folly. New owners, Jason and Ashley Kampfer are updating and adding their special touches to the unique Bed and Breakfast. Corks and Boards, located in the beautiful Harmon House, will be open for business with tours available from 2pm until 5pm. While in the neighborhood, you might want to make time to visit Korner’s Folly and see their beautiful Christmas decorations (for an additional charge). The private homes on Main Street and Salisbury Street that will be open for the tour are The Isaac Harrison McKaughan House (1875) and The Henry C. Korner House (1892).
New to the Tour this year are the Fagg House (1925), recently purchased by the Daniel Bryan Medical group, and Bryan Mabe’s unique home on Harmon Court. The Mabe House was originally built in 1965 by Jack and Betty White and has been completely transformed in 2022. It will be featured in several architectural magazines. The DeWitt Harmon Office in Harmon Park is also new to the tour this year, as is the Historic Train Depot where guests will be welcomed by Museum Board members.
The Neighborhood Tour will take place on Sunday, December 17 from 2pm until 5pm. Tickets are $25 in advance ONLY and are available at MSUMC Church Office (306 S. Main Street) Monday-Thursday, 9am until 4pm. A limited number of tickets will be sold. Exact change or check is preferred. You can call the church office for more information at 336-993-3411. The event will take place rain, snow, or shine with no makeup date or refunds. ALL money raised will be donated to community agencies, such as The Shepherd’s Center, Crisis Control, The Christmas Stocking Fund, The Share the Warmth Program, and hopefully more. I want to give a big thanks to the generosity of our sponsors: Parks GMC, Korner’s Folly, and Kernersville Magazine!
What 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. All in all, this should be a fun event not to be missed! Just ask anyone who attended the 2017 and 2019 MSUMC Neighborhood Tours!