Opening doors to yesterday

Historic Homes Tour takes guests on walk to the past

Many of the homes in the College Hill District near Maryville College have long histories. On Sunday, April 18, folks will have the opportunity to walk through some of these homes and see how property owners are saving historic structures and updating them with the modern amenities.

The Historic College Hill Neighborhood Association is hosting the 2010 Historic Homes tour featuring seven homes built between 1879 and 1932 in the College Hill Historic District and the Maryville College Historic District.

Chris Arnette is president of the Historic College Hill Neighborhood Association. She said there are beautiful homes and buildings in the district people will enjoy seeing. They can also learn about the efforts it takes to preserve and update these homes.

“The challenge of historic homes is preserving the historical integrity while putting in modern innovations. We like large kitchens and large bathrooms. In some homes we have on the tour, residents have done that and have met that challenge well without compromising historical integrity,” she said.

Arnette said there are two Queen Anne homes on the tour, and one with Victorian wallpaper and drapery and also furnishings from the time. “We have a Craftsman bungalow that is beautiful. They’ve remodeled that one completely with mission furniture inside and a marble fireplace, a brand new master bath and a completely open attic with several bedrooms,” she said.

An original farm house on Indiana Avenue was built in 1880. “It’s a small, three-room home. They’ve sheet rocked the walls and made the kitchen larger,” she said.

Arnette said another home on the tour has lost some of its Victorian look over the years, but that it has been completely renovated on the inside with a beautiful large kitchen with a big bathroom and closets and a pantry.

Arnette said folks will get to see a one-time feed store, meat market and filing station. “Now it is Above and Beyond Custom Interiors,” she said. “We have Morningside Inn at RT Lodge. which was at one time a home. They have now opened it up for full-time lodging. Then, of course, we have Willard House on the Maryville College campus.”

Arnette encouraged folks to come check out the homes during the tour. Money raised goes to the College Hill Neighborhood Association.

“It is an interesting tour. We think we have something for everybody on this tour. We would love to have everyone come,” she said. “The beauty of historic homes is you have the craftsmanship of the period it was built. You’ve lost a lot of that architecture in new homes. These homes can be renovated to have modern amenities everybody wants.”

Arnette said the association works to preserve and protect the historic integrity of homes in the district. “We have a very active community,” she said.

The homes and businesses on the tour are:

• 503 S. Court St. - 1910 - a two-story frame house located at the corner of Court Street and Goddard Avenue.

• 103 Indiana Ave. - 1905 - an I-plan, two-story frame located at the corner of Court Street and Indiana Avenue.

• 209 Indiana Ave. - 1879 - A T-plan, two-story frame believed to be the original farmhouse on the land.

• 802 Montvale Road - “Above and Beyond Custom Interiors” - formerly “Huff & McMurray Market.” It was the first convenience store for the neighborhood.

• 919 S. Court St. - 1915 - A Craftsman style Bungalow, one-and-a-half story house which is the former home of Maryville College football coaches Lombe Honaker and Boydson Baird and their families.

• Willard House - Maryville College Campus - built in 1891 for Samuel Boardman, president of Maryville College.

• RT Lodge, guest houses and gardens - built in1932 - Maryville College Woods. Formerly known as ‘Morningside,’ the home of Susan Wiley Cooper Walker, and the home of former college presidents Dr. Ralph W. Lloyd and Dr. Joseph J. Copeland and their families.

The Historic Homes Tour is from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. Tickets are $10 per person. Children younger than 12 are admitted free.

Tickets can be purchased at Above and Beyond Custom Interiors at 802 Montvale Road, Maryville, Tenn., 37803 and Southland Books at 801 E. Broadway Avenue, Maryville.

For more information email or

There will also be a free bonus event when the Maryville College Community Concert Band will put on a spring concert, at 4 p.m. on April 18, in the main auditorium of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

The band, under the direction of Dr. Larry Smithee, associate professor of music, will be playing overtures, Broadway show tunes and traditional marches for concert band and wind ensembles.

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