Main Street Neighborhood Tour

Main Street United Methodist Church (UMC) Circle #2 Sunday school class hosting The Neighborhood Tour of Historic Kernersville on Sunday, December 15 from 2 – 5 p.m.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to community organizations such as The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville, Crisis Control Ministry, The Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund, The Share the Warmth Program, and more.
Patty Stone, member of the Circle #2 Sunday school class, explained that the event was first held in 2017 after the Circle #2 Sunday school class was brainstorming in January about new ways to raise money for their yearly donations to local agencies.
“We were tired of the tried and true bake sales, yard sales and the like. We wanted to put our efforts into a new and exciting project. One of our members suggested a tour of homes,” she explained. “Her women’s group in Pilot Mountain had previously been successful hosting one.”
Stone said they decided to put on their first historic walking tour that year, noting that the Kernersville Historic Preservation Society (KHPS), who had previously held a historic walking tour, hadn’t held one in downtown Kernersville in a while.
“After consulting with a KHPS member, we thought the time was right to revive the tour,” she said. “We thought newcomers and longtime residents alike would enjoy such an event,” she said. “We saw this as a way to get to know our Main Street neighbors and them to get to know us.”
Stone said the homeowners in downtown Kernersville generously opened their homes for the tour, adding that Chara Murray of Firefly Designs went a step further and designed and donated the yard signs they use for the tour. The office staff at Main Street UMC also help with designing, printing and selling tickets, while Circle #2 and other church members and friends also helped with decorating, providing refreshments and greeting people at the historic homes and churches along the tour. With all the help they received, Stone said 2017 was a success.
“Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the event in 2017. It snowed two days before the event. So, it made for a beautiful tour,” she shared.
Stone noted with excitement that this year the event will be bigger and better, with 10 locations along the tour and the addition of carriage rides.
Along the tour this year will include Kernersville Moravian Church, which recently renovated their 1867 historic chapel. Also at this location, guests can visit the 1992 sanctuary, while sampling Moravian cookies and cider.
The Kernersville Woman’s Club is also opening the historic Community House, located on Salisbury St., for friends to gather and visit.
“They will be open again this year to tell the story of the Community House and how they help to maintain this Kernersville treasure,” she said.
Just a few doors down, Stone said Circle members and members of the Church History Committee from Main Street UMC will welcome visitors into the church’s 1995 sanctuary, where they can see the church’s Chrismon tree.
“Our 1923 historic chapel will also be open,” she said.
Also along the tour will be Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (PJCBG), which will open their Carriage House Ballroom, where Heart of the Triad Choral Society will be performing. Performances will be held at 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
“While listening to the singing, you can enjoy some light refreshments. The ballroom and lobby will be beautifully decorated by Garden staff and the gift shop will be open for business,” Stone said.
Also included in this year’s tour is the historic Gibson House, now known as the Gibson House Inn, which has been renovated and recently opened as a bed and breakfast, and Mae’s Vintage Kitchen, located at The Harmon House.
Stone noted that Mae’s Vintage Kitchen will be open and has provided coupons to ticketholders for 15% off a meal, which will be good through March 2020.
“While in the neighborhood, you might want to make time to visit Körner’s Folly and see their beautiful Christmas decorations,” Stone said, noting that the Korner’s Folly is not included in the ticketed tour, so touring the historic Victorian home will be an additional charge.
In addition to the churches and businesses on the tour are four privately owned historic homes located on Main and Salisbury streets. Visitors will have the chance to see how the homes have been renovated and updated, and they will be decorated for the Christmas season.
The private homes include the Nathaniel Macon Kerner House (1857), the Isaac Harrison McKaughan House (1875), the Arthur Joyce House (1925) and the Henry C. Körner House (1892).
“The homeowners will be there and will be telling the history of their homes,” Stone said, adding that some of the furniture in the homes has history, as well.
Stone mentioned that another highlight of this year’s tour will be carriage rides along the tour route by Heritage Farm. Rides are included in the ticket price.
“Although this is a walking tour, you might choose to hop off and on the carriage,” she said.
Stone continued.
“There is no better time than during the Christmas season to stroll through the ‘neighborhood’ and get a glimpse inside some of the interesting and historic places around us.”
The Neighborhood Tour will be held on Sunday, December 15 from 2 – 5 p.m. with carriage rides from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and are available in the Main Street UMC church office, located at 306 S. Main Street. The church is open Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the Community House, located at 405 Salisbury St., on the day of the tour for $20.
“Right now, we have about 50 discount tickets ($15) left to sell. We will have $20 tickets available the day of the tour,” Stone said. “The 2017 Tour was sold out and we expect even more interest this year because of the added carriage rides for ticketholders and the Gardens hosting the Heart of the Triad Choral Society.”
Stone noted that in 2017, they were able to donate about $300 to each of the five non-profits the event benefited.
Carriage ride sponsors include Soggy Bottom Waterproofing, Brooke Cashion and Associates–Allen Tate Realtors, The Gibson House Inn, and R. Hedgecock Fine Art & Framing.
Parking for the Main Street Neighborhood Tour of Historic Homes is available at Main Street UMC, located at 306 South Main Street; Kernersville Moravian Church, located at 514 South Main Street; the Kernersville Community House, located at 405 South Main Street; and PJCBG, located at 215 South Main Street.
The event will take place rain or shine with no makeup date or refunds. For more information, call the church office at Main Street UMC at 336-993-3411.

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