NORTH AUGUSTA - Beverly Thurmond wants to give a Christmas gift to the community.
"This home belongs to North Augusta. It needs to be shared," Mrs. Thurmond said. That's why her home on Carolina Avenue is a stop Friday and Saturday on the 16th annual North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes.
Built in 1902, four years before the city was incorporated, the Victorian-style home has changed little from the days of its first owner, Augusta banker Jacob Phinizy.
The Thurmond home is decorated for the tour with simple pieces and lots of fresh greenery including holly and pine.
The 3,800-square-foot home has four bedrooms (one was recently converted to a study), a parlor, formal dining room and living room. There are elegant details throughout, including heavy pocket doors and elaborate gingerbread moldings.
An unusual feature is a morning room on the east side next to the master bedroom. Mrs. Thurmond said the room was where women of the household gathered in the early morning. It would warm up first because it caught the first rays of sun.
There are two original outbuildings, the servants quarters and a garage, where Mr. Phinizy once parked his Pierce-Arrow automobile, she said.
Mrs. Thurmond and her husband, Dr. William "Billy" Thurmond, bought the house about four years ago. Prior to that, they lived across the street in the home now occupied by Michael and Robyn Havens. The Havens' home at 915 Carolina Ave. is also on the tour.
The Thurmond home has about 14 rooms and has adapted well to modern times, she said.
Mrs. Thurmond loves the house, and its history.
"This is an original home of North Augusta," she said. "This house is in the shadow of the Hampton Terrace Hotel."
From her living room window, she can see the site of the hotel, which catered to wealthy tourists in the first part of the 20th century before it was destroyed by fire.
WHAT: North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes
WHEN: Candlelight tour 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
TICKETS: $15 in advance and $18 on tour days; advance tickets available until noon Friday at Jim Bush Flower Shop Inc., 501 W. Martintown Road; North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 302 Georgia Ave., Parks Pharmacy, 437 Georgia Ave.; and Stepping Stones school, 1950 Centennial Ave. in Aiken; on tour days, tickets may be purchased at the homes or at North Augusta Country Club, 2001 Gregory Lake Road, the site of a 10 a.m. Saturday brunch, brunch tickets $8 in advance and must be purchased by Wednesday, available at same locations as tour tickets. Proceeds go toward college scholarships and to assist with North Augusta charities
TOUR STOPS: The Thurmond home, 914 Carolina Ave.; traditional style home of Rusty and Donna Anderson, 99 Mill Run; Victorian home of Michael and Robyn Havens, 915 Carolina Ave.; John and Dorothy Koonce's river view home with a strong Oriental influence, 21 Savannah River Place; French country home of David and Becky Sam, 605 Savannah Barony; and traditional home of Bob and Tessa Steed, 15 Lang Hill. The tour also includes the recently renovated North Augusta High School auditorium, 2000 Knobcone Ave.
INFORMATION: Tour chairwoman Linda Smiley, (803) 279-5074