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CF Woman's Club Holiday Home Tour Set Dec 7, 2019

Clifton Forge, VA (No. 15, 2019) - For the eleventh year in a row, the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club will welcome the magical holiday season by bringing good cheer to the Alleghany Highlands with a Holiday Home Tour. On Saturday. December 7, from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. a variety of homes, one historic church, the Alleghany Highlands Art Center, and the Historic Masonic Theatre will present a variety of holiday activities to start your season with fun and excitement. The Holiday Joy Silent Auction consisting of holiday-related decorations will again be offered, and, for the first time, lunch will be offered to tour guests at The Historic Masonic Theatre from 11:30 to 2:30 pm.

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Skip and Lois McMullen

22765 Botetourt Road

Clifton Forge

     Neu Bleidorn was built in 2006, this log cabin was constructed with much care and attention to detail.  Having lived in four different states and six duty locations in Germany, Skip and Lois McMullan had a very clear idea of the ideal place to settle down.  Situated on nine wooded acres, they call their home Neu Bleidorn after Skip’s first duty station in Ansbach, West Germany. The German influence is well represented in the design of the home’s interior. After the basic structure was completed, most of the interior woodwork was completed by the homeowners.  The house itself consists of two stories and is very open with the living/dining/kitchen area, master bedroom, and bath on the first floor.  The second floor includes a loft split between office and sitting room areas, a second bedroom, and another full bathroom.  A walkout basement, an elevated back deck, and an enclosed porch overlook the surrounding woods. 

With ornaments collected while they were stationed in Germany, the main Christmas tree gives an old-world feeling to the living room.  The love for wooden things and antiques give the home a rustic charm.  Combined with original artwork throughout the home, created by the homeowners and their daughters Ruth and Lee, Christmas time at the McMullen home is a truly family affair.

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Greg and Stephanie Persinger

4916 McKinney Hollow Road

Clifton Forge

Welcome to Christmas at 4916, the home of Greg and Stephanie Persinger. The house is tucked back in the woods on a portion of Persinger family land. Members of the Persinger family have been the custodians of the land for several generations. The mid-century brick ranch was built in 1964 by Greg’s father, J.W. Greg, and Stephanie purchased Greg’s childhood home in 1989. It was at that time that remodeling the home place became a hobby for Greg and Stephanie, one that is still enjoyed today.      

The house has a farmhouse feel. Many pieces of furniture have been chalk painted and distressed to help reflect the country living style. A large collection of P. Buckley Moss prints adorn the walls throughout the home. Many belonged to Stephanie’s late parents. A modest collection of “Madame Alexander “dolls are showcased in curio cabinets in the main living area. The dolls were given to Stephanie by her parents each Christmas and any special occasion.

The Christmas décor throughout the house reflects the belief of Greg and Stephanie that Christmas is indeed “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. A large Christmas tree in the main living area is affectionately called “Momma’s Tree”, as all the ornaments belonged to Stephanie’s late mother, Patsy. Another large tree, located in the finished basement, is trimmed with kitty ornaments. Many of the ornaments were given to Stephanie by family, friends, and former students. Each ornament comes with a story that is reminisced every year when placed on the tree. A number of smaller trees and arrangements are placed in other areas of the house that help generate the Christmas spirit. Most of the arrangements and wreaths were made by Stephanie.

Greg and Stephanie are excited to share their love for Christmas with the community.

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Firmstone Manor

6209 Longdale Furnace Road

Clifton Forge

Firmstone Manor was built in 1873 by Harry Firmstone, owner of the Longdale Iron Company. Shiploads of materials and furnishings were brought over from England to build Firmstone Manor and a home across the road for the assistant manager. The mansion, at the time, was splendid with 23 rooms, and many of the amenities associated with a home of this type. The surrounding grounds were equally as splendid, at that time. The Lucy Selina Inn and Cottages were added in the 1940’s and 50’s and housed thousands of travelers until Interstate 64 was built, and the demand slowly dwindled.

Following the era of the Firmstones, several families lived in the home with each family customizing the home and gardens to the individual owner’s taste. During the 1980s, a couple made this property quite lovely as a bed and breakfast.

Brian Deacon and Michael Carland purchased Firmstone Manor in late November of 2018 and have been working to reverse the years of neglect and restore the home to its former glory. While the Manor is being restored to a private home, the cottages are going to be fully restored and rented for travelers to Clifton Forge and Alleghany County. While the home is a work in progress this year, great strides have been made both inside and out, and restoration of the main house and cottages is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

The home will be decorated with over a dozen Christmas trees in just as many themes. Fireplaces and bannisters will be decorated for the season in a variety of decorations from fruits to antique glass balls to flowers and everything in between! Michael and Brian are excited to share their love of the season as well as this wonderful historic property.

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The Historic Masonic Theatre

510 Main Street

Clifton Forge

Double Delights at the Historic Masonic Theatre: Holiday Joy Silent Auction and a Delicious Potato Bar

Again this year the Woman’s Club is featuring our popular Holiday Joy Silent Auction.  Holiday decorations galore, trees, wreaths, centerpieces, all sorts of festive items, are available to enhance your holiday decor.  Viewing and bidding begin on Monday, November 25th at 10 a.m. and continue Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at all Theatre events.  Bidding closes at 7p.m. on Saturday December 7th.  Bid as many times and on as many items as you like.

The second event at the Theatre is new this year.  A delicious potato bar will be available on Saturday December 7th during the Home Tour from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. A large baked potato covered with your choice of toppings, a dessert and a drink are yours for a mere $8.00.  Tickets are limited and will be sold in the Thomas P. Dean/Racey & Dean Underground on December 7th.  Come on down, get a delicious lunch and make a bid on your favorite auction items!

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Alleghany Highlands Arts & Craft Center

439 E. Ridgeway

Clifton Forge

The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center opened its doors in Clifton Forge at 439 E. Ridgeway in 1983. On the main floor there are two shop areas filled with art work of approximately 200 local and regional artists, and a large gallery which shows a wide variety of exhibits, including items by professional and amateur artists of all ages. The workroom, including the kitchen, is also on the first floor. The second floor, which is currently being renovated, houses offices, classrooms, a matting/framing area, and an art library for public use. The entire area is wheelchair accessible, including an elevator. This has made much of the area usable as an art center. The Center is grateful for the many sources of support which enable it to thrive as a wonderful part of the Alleghany Highlands.

This year the holiday gallery exhibit will feature the 10th year of FX2, a photography show featuring local and regional amateur and professional photographers. The shop areas will have numerous trees decorated with a variety of unique ornaments created by Center consignors. Holiday quilts and quilted hangings will be displayed throughout the main floor. In the gallery, the local garden clubs will share their talents by designing Christmas arrangements to be displayed during the home tour. These promise to be beautiful, whimsical, elegant- each as individual as the person who designed it. The Center thanks the members of the Twilight Garden Club, of Clifton Forge, and The Jackson River Garden Club of Covington, for making this a special event.

The Woman’s Club will be serving refreshments at the Arts and Crafts Center on the day of the tour.

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First Christian Church Disciples of Christ

319 Church Street

Clifton Forge, Virginia

     First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Clifton Forge, Virginia was established by seven charter members in 1885. The first meeting was held in a rented store building in the eastern end of town.  The first church building was built in 1886 for $1,500.00 on a lot donated by the C&O Railway near the former Sav-A-Lot store on Cary Street.  The white frame church served the congregation for twenty years.  Due to the growing congregation, church members decided to relocate to a more desirable site. The present location on Church and McCormick Streets was selected and the present church building was erected in 1907.  In 1924 the fellowship hall and Sunday School rooms were added.

  By 1916 the Church continued to grow, several ministers had served First Christian Church, and it was at this time that a call was extended to Rev. F. Wayne Long who served as minister for 43 years until December 31, 1959.  The Rev. Long endeared himself to church members and the community, and membership grew to an all time high.   This is the church’s 134th year of service.     

Each year members of the congregation of First Christian Church gather for the “Hanging of the Greens” to beautify the church for the upcoming Season of Advent. Church doors are adorned with wreaths and bows. A large wreath is hung in the baptistery and lighted greenery is hung on the balcony railing. The choir loft is decorated with greenery, holly, and candles and an advent wreath is placed on the pulpit area.  Advent candles are lit on each appropriate Sunday by members of the congregation. The main attraction is the Christmas tree which is decorated with handmade chrismons created by church members through the years. Chrismons are Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them to remind people that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. First Christian welcomes everyone to view their beautiful sanctuary and see the quilts made by the Creasey Quilters and the Library Quilters that will be on display, and also to enjoy the paintings of the church by faithful church member, Alan Hickman.

Tickets for the Tour may be purchased in advance from any Club member, or at Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, the Club Car, Livy’s Closet, Country Garden Florist, and the Flower Center in Clifton Forge and Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Cakes your Way and Coffee Shop, and Elaine Mitchell Salon in Covington. Tickets may also be purchased the day of the Tour from any of the locations. Tickets are $15.00. All proceeds will be returned to the community to non-profit organizations such as the Clifton Forge Area Food Pantry, the Christmas Mother Program, After Prom Party, C & O Heritage Center and Achives, and the Humane Society, to name a few.


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