2010-09-29 / Front Page

Homes on Gaffney Fall Home and Art Tour each have a story to tell

By JOE L. HUGHES II Ledger Staff Writer joe@gaffneyledger.com

Sometimes it is a good thing to take a few steps back before moving forward.

Their home filled with antiques and family heirlooms dating back to the late 1800s, Ken and Lynda Ramage hope to offer a small taste of the past Saturday, opening their door to visitors for the Gaffney Fall Home and Art Tour.

The event, sponsored by the Cherokee Alliance of Visual Artists and the Gaffney Garden Club, will showcase four of the city’s historic homes, with each having a different story to tell.

“Most people don’t walk into too many older homes; this gives them a unique opportunity to walk into a piece of history they can see and feel,” Lynda Ramage said. “Every house has a story to tell and visitors will get the chance this weekend.”

Among the homes being shown along the tour are the Ramages’ Petty Street home, “The Hen’s Nest,” aptly given the name after the local woman proclaimed “This ole chick is coming home to roost!” upon the couple’s decision to move to Gaffney. Previously, they had lived in several states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio and Tennessee.

However, Lynda was pretty familiar with the home prior to the move.

“We used to call this home the Thomson House, named for the family who once owned it,” Lynda Ramage said. “Because so many of us grew up here, there are so many stories about this place we can all tell.”

The spring green structure, built in 1881, remains nestled between a pair of towering oak trees just as it did more than a century ago. Lynda would take it a step further though, placing an array of antique items — including a vintage piano dating back to 1888 which sits in the music room — inside the residence, hoping to provide visitors with not only the comforts of home but also a walk through history.

“My grandmother’s piano is definitely a prized possession; her father bought it for her at a young age, learning to play by ear,” Lynda Ramage said. “She never took a lesson.“

Accompanying the piano in the music room are a pump organ and decades-old Victrolas.

With Mother Nature ushering out summer and welcoming fall, much of the “Hen’s Nest” has been covered with witches, rats, ghouls and goblins in anticipation for Halloween and Lynda’s annual “Witch Convention,” which is held at the Petty Street residence.

“It’s one of the things I love about the fall,” Lynda Ramage said. “But I don’t want to scare kids, the goal here is to provide them just a little bit of fun.”

Other homes being showcased during the tour are owned by Ron and Nancy Gardner, Jim and Rachel Hawkins and Gaffney City Administrator James Taylor and his wife, Felicia.

Visitors also will have the opportunity to listen to tunes provided by the Limestone College jazz band, which will be posted at the homes of the Ramages’ and Taylors’ between 1 and 3 p.m. In addition, tour takers will also receive the opportunity to check out the new Gaffney Visitors Center & Art Gallery, a building which previously served as the city’s post office.

The homes will be available to tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 apiece.

For more information, call Lynda Ramage at (864) 206-0286; or Cindy Wilson at (864) 491-7553.

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