staff3The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville N.C., Inc., was founded in 1906. In 1947, the group changed its name to Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, N.C. Just recently, the organization rebranded itself as the Heritage Square Historical Society. From the very beginning, the mission of the group has been “to promote civic, cultural, educational and social welfare of the city; to preserve Heritage Square and to promote the historical preservation of the community.” On Sunday, Dec. 4, the club is set to host its signature fundraiser: A Christmas Tour of Homes. The proceeds raised from this event go to support the preservation and restoration of the three properties at Heritage Square. The Oval Ballroom, the Sandford House and the Baker-Haigh-Nimocks House make up the Heritage Square property, which is located at 225 Dick Street.

The tour features five properties decorated for the holidays, plus a bonus stop. Gwen Bell and Vickie Richardson co-chair this event. “For the Woman’s Club, in the past, this was the only fundraiser,” said Bell. “It is still our main fundraiser. We also have a silent auction, which was moved to the spring this year because of Hurricane Matthew. The tour has five gorgeous Fayetteville homes this year. Two are historical properties. We have two mid-century homes, one from the 50s and one from probably the 70s. And a brand-new home, too, Ralph and Linda Huff’s house. It is a gorgeous new home.”

And that extra stop on the tour? It is the Sandford House, which is part of the Heritage Square property. This gives the tour participants an opportunity to see the structures that benefit from the event and to learn about the property’s place in local history. “Refreshments will be served there and the home will be shown in period-appropriate decorations,” said Bell. “Some of the Fayetteville Garden Clubs each took a room and decorated it. We also decorated the Oval Ballroom. It was built by a prominent businessman for his daughter’s wedding. It has been moved and restored and it is gorgeous. People that enjoy history or interesting things about Fayetteville will love this. It is a great way to get into the mood for Christmas and see how others decorate.”

For some, the tour of homes is as much a part of Christmas as presents under the tree or Christmas dinner. If you’ve never been, Bell says this a great time to start. “I always tell people, grab a girlfriend, go to lunch and hit the trail,” said Bell. “You can buy tickets the day of the event at any of the homes. The Sandford house is a great place to start or finish the tour because there will be refreshments and a lot to see on the property.”

The tour of homes lasts from 1-6 p.m., but Bell noted that it doesn’t necessarily take the entire time to see all the properties. Tickets are available at Bell’s Seed Store, Burney’s Sweets & More, Betty Kelly’s Gift Shop, High Cotton Consignment, Talbot’s, The Pilgrim and Heritage Square. Each ticket contains a map and the addresses of the homes on the tour. A $15 donation is suggested for the tickets. For more information, call 483-6009, or visit wwwheritagesquarefay.org.

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