Tour is a concession to age for historical society members

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AIKEN --- Four centuries of homes and historic Beech Island sites will be available for sightseeing in April.

The second annual Historic Beech Island Tour is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 19.

Jackie Bartley, the president of Beech Island Historical Society, said the group sold 60 tickets last year, and the tour also allowed the historical society's volunteers to attend.

The tour came about because the history festival the group had held every year became too cumbersome, she said.

"It got to be too much work," she explained. "We're getting too old to do it. It was so costly and so much expense, and we had to use someone else's location, so we decided to do a house tour."

Churches were a given for the tour, she said, but she had to "pester people" to get private homes on the list. The tour is a fundraiser for the society.

Organizers urge tour-goers to wear comfortable walking shoes, and no pictures are to be taken inside private homes unless the owners give permission.

The 14 tour locations can be visited in any order. Ms. Bartley said visitors should just show their ticket.

A barbecue lunch is being offered for $7. It will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the First Baptist Church of Beech Island's fellowship hall at 170 Church Road.

Tour tickets can be purchased in advance from All Saints Episcopal Church, Historic Augusta, the MO Convenience Store on Sand Bar Ferry Road, Estate Jewelry in North Augusta, Ledbetter RV Center in Aiken or from the historical society.

For more information, call the historical society at (803) 867-3600.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Historic Beech Island Tour


WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19


WHERE: Tour-goers can visit any of the 14 locations in any order they choose.


COST: $25; $20 for those 60 and older; free for children


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.beech-islandhistory.org.

TOUR SITES

- All Saints Episcopal Church and Parish House


- First Baptist Church of Beech Island


- La Vita E Bella, residence of Tom Mixon and Cindy Waddell


- Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site


- Oaklands


- Old Burnside House, home of JB and Lisa Moore


- Goodale, owned by P. Charles Lunsford


- Beech Island Historical Society Visitors Center and Barn


- Silver Bluff Missionary Baptist Church and Schoolhouse


- Swiss Settlers Farm and Home Site


- Zubly Cemetery


- Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church and Schoolhouse


- Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary


- Jarrett Museum


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