History on Display

Salisbury’s Newtown Historic District’s Neighborhood Association Holiday House Tour returns to showcase classic architecture and tradition

Written by Alison Pappas

The Newtown Historic District is thrilled to welcome back its Neighborhood Association Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 4.

The neighborhood, which is bursting with charm and historic homes, earned its name after fires that took place in 1960 and 1986 forced the community to build a new town. The Holiday House Tour, which has been taking place every three years for the last 15 years, celebrates the neighborhood’s unique history and is an enjoyable activity for local history lovers, architecture and design enthusiasts and anyone simply looking to partake in a new experience within our local community. 

Featured in the tour are 10 homes and two churches that showcase the beauty of Victorian design, as well as other historical architectural styles. Poplar Hill Mansion, a historic-house museum and well-known events venue, is the tour’s starting point. There, attendees can purchase tickets, or if they have already pre-purchased tickets online, they can simply check in and pick up their tour materials. These materials consist of a trifold brochure that showcases photos and descriptions of each tour stop.

The tour is available from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for one day only and is self-guided, with an expected duration of two and a half hours if walked from start to finish. The homeowners, as well as volunteer docents, will be present to answer any questions and provide background information, making this a truly interactive experience for attendees. A notable stop on the tour is the Gillis Grier Bed & Breakfast. A beloved symbol of the neighborhood, the Gillis Greer B&B is a historic, Queen Anne Victorian-style inn that features striking stained-glass windows, an octagon-shaped, multistory, exterior tower and other late-19th-century aesthetics.

While a key theme is sharing local history, the tour also celebrates the spirit of neighborly engagement. “The people who move here, move here for the love of their homes. They see a place; it talks to them; they buy it, and they do what they can to fix it up, if needed. The tour allows us to showcase the love of our homes,” shared committee and board member Lisa Gingrich, who has been a resident of the Newtown Historic District since 2012.

Guests can purchase tickets online beforehand at EventBrite.com for $18 or in person on the day of the event, for $20. CS

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