Restoring elegance

Drs. Thane and Almira Plummer and Rositsa Lawrence took on a major restoration project when they bought their Victorian-era house in Summerville in 2005. It's been a labor of love to restore the 1905 house.


"That's been our goal, to pull (out) all the original artistry and put it back," Almira Plummer said.

The family moved to Augusta for their jobs; Drs. Thane and Almira Plummer are researchers at the Medical College of Georgia. They looked at other neighborhoods in the area but loved historic Summerville and the house they eventually bought. They had renovated a house before, but this is a much larger project.

Their work has transformed the house into a neighborhood showcase and one of the stops on the annual Summerville Tour of Homes.

Before they moved in, the home's unusual arches and molding had been monochromatically painted over, and the original fixtures were hidden in the attic. They hired an expert painter and resurrected the chandeliers.

Summerville Renovation aided in some projects, and the family picked up sledgehammers and scrubbed tiles on their own. They replicated tile patterns in bathrooms whose floors couldn't be salvaged and used old doors to add much-needed closet space.

"We wanted to keep the historic aspect of the house," Thane Plummer said.

Bathrooms were added upstairs for Masters Tournament renters, but the rooms kept their original purposes. The only walls that were changed were in the kitchen.

Almira Plummer has learned the style of the architect, Henry Ten Eryck Wendell, and can recognize it in other homes in the area.

Thane Plummer said the architect's style is strongly present in their home.

"He loved these low arches, he loved symmetry," he said. "Everything was thought out."

The original owner was David Slusky. His granddaughter, Sara Belle, who was reared there, returned to tour it after the Plummers and Ms. Lawrence started restoration.

The Plummers and Ms. Lawrence said that restoring their home is a lot of work and overwhelming at times. They can list dozens of other things they'd like to do to the house, such as finish the basement and renovate the attic. They're grateful for the local craftsmen who have helped in the renovations, Almira Plummer said.

"It's a piece of history, it's an exemplary piece of art."

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or


The neighborhood: Summerville

Size of homes: Square footage of homes now on the market ranges from 1,000 to 7,500

Sale prices: $76,900 to $1.85 million

Public schools zoned for: Lake Forest Hills Elementary School, Monte Sano Elementary School, Langford Middle School, Academy of Richmond County

Amenities: Sidewalks, proximity to churches and private schools such as Episcopal Day School, Aquinas High School and St. Mary on the Hill School. The Appleby Library branch, which holds summer music series events, is another draw. Augusta State University is in Summerville.

Nearby shopping areas: Surrey Center, Daniel Village, shops near the intersection of Monte Sano Avenue and Central, shops on Kings Way

Neighborhood association: Summerville Neighborhood Association is open to all residents. Dues are $35 a year for families and businesses, $25 a year for individuals. Members receive quarterly newsletter and access to crime watch e-mail list.

Neighborhood events: Tour of homes, Christmas tree lighting with Augusta State University, parties in winter and spring

It's a fact: Summerville was established as a separate village and grew as a summer getaway. After the fire of 1916, the neighborhood experienced exponential growth from Augusta residents rebuilding on the Hill.

Sources: Joe Neal Jr., Summerville Neighborhood Association president; Ann Marie McManus, Meybohm Realtors

Summerville Tour of Homes

When: Candlelight tour, 7-9 p.m. Friday for select houses, tour kickoff party, Partridge Inn, 7-11 p.m. Friday; tour noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25
Where: The tour headquarters is at the Augusta State University Maxwell House Alumni Center, 2339 McDowell St. (Saturday and Sunday)
Tour stops:
* Home of Drs. Thane and Almira Plummer and Rositsa Lawrence, 2605 Walton Way (Friday-Sunday)
* Home of George and Brigid Pursley, 2561 Henry St. (Saturday-Sunday)
* Home of Mark and Sharon Lorenti, 2406 Williams St. (Friday-Sunday)
* Home and studio of artist Randy Lambeth, 1545 Whitney St. (Friday-Sunday)
* Home of Scott and Angie Benjamin, 2619 Raymond Ave. (Friday-Sunday)
* Home of Lori and Brian Brittingham, 1121 Monte Sano Ave. (Saturday and Sunday)
Tickets: $20 in advance, $30 weekend of tour; purchase at Crum's on Central, Summerville Rags, Hill Drugstore, Sheehan's Irish Pub, Martina's Flowers & Gifts, Surrey Center Pharmacy, The Frame Shop, Three Stitches Custom Monogramming, Steed Realty Group, Midtown Market

Source: Summerville Neighborhood Association



Shopgirl: Facebook competing with eBay, Craigslist

Facebook is trying to get into the eBay/Craigslist selling game, with a new feature called Marketplace. It works off of your... Read more

Jesus continues to bless the children as silent actor


Recently I was doing an important but boring task – meeting with a financial planner. We were going through my “... Read more

Shopgirl: App zaps need for mosquito repellant

OK, this is pretty cool: we’ve all woken up with legs full of mosquito bites and sworn never to go outside again, but with this new app Anti... Read more