Eight homes, including six homes that have witness more than a hundred years of history, five historic churches each with unique architectural flourishes, and two museums with guided tours will be stops on the tour. Proceeds from the $10 tickets will go toward the drive to create a new Splash and Swim Center in Cooleemee.
“When the cotton mill was established back in 1899,” says tour coordinator Hellen Daywalt, “they built houses for their employees. Some were for the hands and some were for the boss men. All were built with real wood and they were made to last. Farmers, like the Byerly family on Davie Street where my daughter now lives, came from the country to work in the mill and brought their traditions with them.”
Today, these homes and the mill still stand and Cooleemee people want to share their hope for the future with others during the Christmas season. Each stop will have their own unique story to tell. The Stroud-Davis-Vogler House on the corner of Marginal Street and Gladstone Road, for example, is said to have been an overnight stop for Thomas Edison on his way to the North Carolina mountains.
At the Mill House Museum, visitors will get a glimpse of how mill hands’ families would have celebrated Christmas in the early 1930s with a cedar Christmas tree and a sumptuous spread of country ham, sausage, coconut cake, pies, oranges, stick candy and other goodies on the kitchen table near the old wood cook stove.
Tickets for the tour can be purchased in advance in Cooleemee at Town Hall, Village Auto and the Zachary House. Also, tickets can be purchased in Mocksville at the Davie Chamber of Commerce. They may be purchased the day of the event at the Zachary House. Once you have a ticket and your map you may begin at any tour stop. For more information, please call Hellen Daywalt at 284-4339 or John Chandler at 284-2141.