YORK -- A home once considered the "Showplace of York" will open its doors to the public for the first time next week during Christmas in Olde York Historic Home Tour.
The event is one of several area tours being held this holiday season. Clover, Sharon, River Hills and Historic Brattonsville also are hosting tours and holiday events.
Featuring six historic locations, the Olde York tour will benefit the Yorkville Historical Society, said Jan Ramsey, the society's vice president.
"We're really looking forward to it," Ramsey said. "We are certainly hoping for a good crowd, as long as the weather is good."
Ramsey said the proceeds from the tour would go toward projects to promote and preserve historic York, which currently has 180 historic structures and landmarks, according to the National Historic Register.
Ramsey said the owners of the homes and buildings on display have been equally enthusiastic about the event.
"It's been great working with the homeowners," she said. "They have done all this work on the houses and they know people will like to look at them. They are excited about it."
All six of the stops on the tour will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, and from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Tickets will be on sale at each of the homes and brochures containing detailed information about the buildings will be available at each location as well, Ramsey said.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased early at the Greater York Chamber of Commerce.
This tour will be the first time that the Lowry House at 110 East Liberty St. has ever been on display to the public.
"We love history ourselves," said Paulajo Gross, the owner of the home. She and her husband Gary bought the home in 2007 and are the ninth owners. "We feel like this is history and we are the caretakers of history. We'll live here and preserve it for later owners."
Once known as "The Showplace of York," the Lowry House features a Tee Hall, once the focal point of the house where guests could gather during social events.
The property also includes four outbuildings, eight fireplaces and original artwork provided by artists including the current owners.
Paulajo has watercolor and oil paintings on the walls, and Gary's hand carved walking sticks and hand-made furniture can be found throughout the home.
"My sons and I have Monday afternoon whittling sessions and make walking sticks," Gary said.
Paulajo said that they were happy to be part of the preservation of this and other historic locations in the city.
"It's important to keep York as a small town that has been able to keep the historic nature of the town," Paulajo said.
The other locations featured on York's tour include Bruce and Cheney Baltz's home at 220 East Liberty St., a raised basement style home, built to take advantage of air circulation.
Elizabeth Lord will display a Victorian Cottage at 6 Kings Mountain St., once home to Ross Cannon, who founded Cannon Mills. John and Diane Wine will show the third floor living quarters of Latta House, which features 24-inch brick walls made from bricks imported from England, imported black marble mantles and cherry woodwork.
Trinity United Methodist Church at 22 East Liberty St. and the Congress Street Executive Center at 30 North Congress St. also will be on display.
For more details, go to www.yorkvillehs.org, call the Greater York Chamber of Commerce at 684-2590 or call Jan Ramsey at 684-3844.
The 2008 Clover Christmas Tour, sponsored by the Clover Women's Club, will take place Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at The Clover Chamber of Commerce, Lake Wylie Hardware, Good Things, Confetti Boutique or The Palmetto House.
There are six locations featured in the Clover tour: Kermene and Bobby Yon's home, 16336 Strollaway Lane; Tamra and Shane Hartman's home, 726 Sunnywood Road; Paul and Kim Johnson's home, 2287 Arabian Lane; Mary Beth Shealy's home, 1280 Ole Cambridge Circle; The Palmetto House, 306 North Main St.; Bowling Green Presbyterian Church, 250 Ridge Road.
Christmas in Olde Sharon will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5.
Visitors can stroll the streets of Sharon and enjoy luminaries, lights, decorations, music, local vendors, activities and food. Hayrides will take you from one place to another, and Santa will stop by the fire department at 7 p.m. for photos. Horse-drawn sleigh rides will be provided by Jim Sandifer.
The tour includes: American National Insurance Office at 3246 York St.; The Brimer home of Eddie, Donna and Casha at 2480 Beersheba Road; The Historic Hill Building at 3303 York St.; Museum of Western York County at 3716 Woodlawn St.; The Rainey Place at 3628 Rainey Ave.; Sharon Scout Hut at 3703 Woodlawn St.; Small World Academy at 3714 Woodlawn St.; St. John Baptist Church at 3727 Woodlawn St.
The River Hills Christmas House Tour will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. A shuttle will be provided at the River Hills Community Church and will guide the tour to five locations in the River Hills community.
The Holiday Reception and Craft Fair will begin at 1:30 p.m. and be available until 5 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and will benefit the Kenya Orphanage Project, a non-profit organization founded by Lake Wylie resident Monique Boekhout, which raises money to support an orphanage and schooling for Kenyan children.
Tickets are available in advance or the day of the tour at Jac-Lyn's Gift & Hallmark Shop, Lake Wylie Family Chiropractic, Curves in Lake Wylie, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream in Fort Mill, Liu Liu's Restaurant at Baxter in Fort Mill, Good Things Consignment Shop in Clover and Donna Cole Beauty Salon in Rock Hill.
The five owners showing homes on the tour are: Jerry and Kaye Cloniger; Jo Ann Eklund; Richard and Donna Farmer; Bob and Jackie Harrington; Rose Reding.
The Historic Brattonsville Plantation will give Christmas candlelight tours Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7 from 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The tour of classically decorated buildings on the plantation will include costumed interpreters who will depict holiday life and practices of the settlers in the 18th century in family-friendly theatrical performances, said Cultural Heritage Museums Events Manager Kevin Lynch.
"We've been doing the candlelight tours for more than 30 years," Lynch said. "We want to make sure things are fresh and new. Traditional, what you would expect- but we know people want to see new things."
In addition to viewing the decorated homes and watching the performances, participants can take part in candle-dipping demonstrations and traditional dances, Lynch said.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Earth Fare in Rock Hill.