Join the Louisburg Historic District Inc. on a candlelight Christmas tour of homes and churches and other buildings on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Tickets are $50 each and must be purchased in advance, according to Bobby Cooper, chairman of the non-profit organization. Visit https://www.louisburghistoricdistrict.com/ to purchase tickets and learn more. He said he hoped to have as many as 500 attend the tour. Bring an extra $10 per person and enjoy a horse and carriage ride through the historic district, which should be all decorated for the holidays, including luminaries lining the streets along the tour.
Cooper and his wife Dorothy are part of a group that has been working the better part of a year to get everything in order for the five-hour tour, which begins at 4 p.m. at Person Place on the campus of Louisburg College.
Cooper spoke with WIZS’s Bill Harris and guest host Mark Pace as part of the tri-weekly history segment on TownTalk Thursday.
“We have a beautiful historic district,” Cooper said, adding that “it’s always decked out for the holidays.”
As a way to invite folks to come and enjoy all that Louisburg has to offer, the group set into motion almost a year ago the plan to create its own holiday historic homes tour. Patrons check in at Person Place, 605 N. Main St. and then head out for a self-guided tour of a dozen homes, churches and other buildings in the historic area.
“The whole point is preservation of history and places,” Cooper said. As development continues to push into the area, there’s growing pressure to remove structures that may have historical significance.
There’s no such thing as ever being finished with a home restoration, and Cooper said the homes that will be on the tour will show just that. “Some are further along, and some are very early in the process,” he said. Participants in the tour will be able “to get a glimpse into homes that aren’t already perfectly restored.
The buildings included on the tour date from the early 1800’s to around the 1940’s, he said.
“We do expect to sell out,” he said, adding that limiting the number of tickets will hopefully reduce wait times. They expect good attendance from people who live outside Louisburg, and local businesses and restaurants are being encouraged to open or to remain open later on the day of the tour to accommodate visitors.
In two weeks, there will be a special kickoff event for all $1,000 and up sponsors of the event. It will be held in another historic home that is not going to be part of the tour. Cooper said he expected that upwards of 100 people would be in attendance.
Through sponsorships and ticket purchase, the non-profit hopes to be able to continue to make improvements at Oakwood Cemetery, as well as improve the signage to clearly identify homes within the historic district. He also mentioned the possibility of developing a system for visitors to hear audio stories of particular homes by scanning a QR code to preserve the stories, as well as a revolving account of some sort to help owners as they try to save historic locations.
It’s important to save the physical locations, Cooper noted, but it’s also important to save the stories behind the buildings.