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Enfield NC

6th Annual Enfield Christmas Homes Tour

Downtown Enfield Restoration and Preservation Association (DERP) is dedicated to preserving Enfield’s rich history and revitalizing the downtown area. DERP was founded in 2010. This year the 6th Annual Christmas Homes Tour is focusing on six truly magnificent homes in Enfield and the surrounding countryside. The homes – Branch Grove, Gray Hall, Shell Castle, Glenn Burnie, Conoconnara Hall and Bellamy Manor & Gardens – have been lovingly restored by history-minded couples. As Mayor Wayne Anderson said, “You don’t really own these homes. You take care of them – for the next generation – hoping that they too will preserve these special places.”

DERP has been active in the community in 2018: the nonprofit organization sponsored the 8th Annual Enfield Fishing Creek Paddle; a Bless Your Art Show and Gala and design plans are currently being drawn up for the Town Square, which will be refurbished in the upcoming spring.

Lots of fun activities are planned for Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1. On Friday music starts at 4:30 p.m. and hot chocolate and cider will be served before Santa arrives on a fire truck. A dramatic reading will follow that will put participants in the Christmas spirit and there will be a tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday there will be an artisan fair starting at 9 a.m. that will end at noon. The fair will feature the work of local craftspeople, cake-makers, potters, wreath-makers and will be held at The Collective Center at 131 Whitfield Street. The 6th Annual Christmas Homes Tour begins at noon. There will also be a Dr. William Mann Book Sale at the Lodge throughout the day (books rescued from one of Dr. William Mann’s home on Franklin Street, many of them first editions). The Scoopy Dippy Doo old-fashion ice cream truck will begin serving at 9 a.m. at the Town Square. Christmas crafts for the kids will start at 9 a.m. To add to the festive spirit, Christmas carols will be sung and there will be a Tree Festival (vote for the best tree decorated by local businesses) at The Collective Center. A $10 50/50 raffle will be held with proceeds being split between the winner and DERP. An evening prayer service will be held at the Historic Episcopal Church of the Advent, 200 Batchelor Avenue, on Saturday, December 1, at 5:30 p.m. This will be followed by an after-tour party for everyone who participated or attended the tour.  The following day, Sunday, December 2, the annual Christmas service at Whitaker’s Chapel, a Heritage Landmark of the United Methodist Church and also on the National Register of Historic Places, will be held at 3 p.m. This year Whitaker’s Chapel will be celebrating its 278th anniversary.


For tickets to the 6th annual Christmas Homes Tour or more information, visit:  Tickets can also be purchased in advance at Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts and Southern Secrets in downtown Enfield. On the day of the Tour, tickets can be purchased at The Collective Center, on Whitfield Street, in downtown Enfield. For more information, contact Suzann Anderson at 252-445-2234.

"Bless Your Art"

The Downtown Enfield Restoration & Preservation Association (DERP) is sponsoring the third annual Bless Your Art Show and Sale – featuring artists and artisans on Saturday, April 14, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. – rain or shine.  Visitors can meet and talk with exhibiting artists and artisans at Southern Secrets at Mears, a retail gift shop that sells wine, local coffee, honey and specialty foods – with a local-as-possible, made-in-the USA focus – promoting rural North Carolina.  In addition, artwork from local private collections can be viewed at a recently renovated storefront next to Southern Secrets at Mears.

Bless Your Art will feature original works in every medium and price range. For the artists, the show is an opportunity to make connections with other local artists, get to know existing customers and create a new audience for their work. For visitors, the art show is a chance to support local artists, develop a personal connection to the art and to purchase art from new and emerging artists. Bless Your Art will also feature three Early American Antiques dealers, so there’s something for everyone. 

Jennifer Locke McCann, who is a co-chair along with Julia Andrus of the Bless Your Art show, believes it’s important to foster an art community of seasoned artists and new talent, saying “Art is good for the local economy and it enriches the community. At Southern Secrets we are featuring talented artists and artisans who are eager to sell their work locally.” That’s one of the reasons why she opened Southern Secrets at Mears in December 2017. Along with her mother, Gayle Locke, they wanted a venue where local artists and artisans could feature their work – and display their strong ties to rural Eastern North Carolina. While some of the artists participating in the  Annual Bless Your Art Show and Sale have exhibited their work in renowned galleries, alternative venues – like Southern Secrets at Mears – are great outlets for new and emerging artists and artisans. Southern Secrets will have its grand opening this Saturday, March 24.

Eric McRay, a renowned artist from Raleigh, will be giving an art class on Saturday morning, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. The workshop costs $100. In addition to the art show on Saturday, there’s a Bless Your Art Gala on Friday night, April 13. To buy tickets online go to or you can also purchase your tickets at Southern Secrets at Mears via check to DERP. Presales are $40 per ticket or two for $75. The Rhythm Express Band will be performing and food will be served.

On Sunday, Ira David Wood will be speaking at the 11 a.m. service at the Enfield Baptist Church and Steve Owen (of the Steve Owens Band) will perform. A covered dish follows the service.

To find out more about the show’s sponsor, the Downtown Enfield Restoration and Preservation Association (DERP) – a nonprofit membership organization of business owners and citizens dedicated to supporting downtown revitalization – visit  Or contact Jennifer Locke McCann at Southern Secrets at Mears at  919-412-4225.

Enfield NC Home Tour is December 2 - The Craftsman Homes


Downtown Enfield Restoration & Preservation (DERP) is holding its Fifth Annual Christmas Homes Tour on Saturday, December 2. The tour is designed to showcase the architecture of this historic town (founded in 1740). Since so many newcomers have discovered the advantages of living in this sleepy, rural town – people from New Hampshire, Arizona, New Jersey, Long Island, Florida and Indiana – the tour will provide a good opportunity to see what some of these newcomers have been up to in their new town and restoration projects.

In years past, the Christmas Homes Tour has featured several antebellum homes in Enfield – Shell Castle, the Cellars, the James H. Parker House, Strawberry Hill and Myrtle Lawn – all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. These homes were built to inspire and impress – with their floor-to-ceiling windows, imposing staircases, double-door entrances, historic out buildings and formal gardens. The 2017 Christmas Homes Tour is veering in a new direction; this year the tour will feature a homier style: the Craftsmen Bungalow.

The Craftsman style was inspired by the 1850s arts and crafts movement in England. In recent years, the Craftsman style bungalow has regained its popularity. These homes have strong bones, natural materials, handcrafted, built-in cabinetry, big covered porches with tapered (battered) columns on heavy piers that integrate the outside environment with the inside floor plan, deep eaves with knee braces and low-pitched roofs, high ceilings, plenty of double-hung windows and meandering floor plans – with the era of construction being roughly from 1920 to 1930.

What distinguishes the Craftsmen Bungalows on Enfield’s 2017 Christmas Homes Tour? For one thing, the featured homes on the 2017 Christmas Homes Tour are not “kit homes.” Current restoration undertaken by the new owners in Enfield would have revealed several distinctive features of the “kit homes,” such as stamped lumber, Goodwall Sheet Plaster, a square block on molding joints at staircase landings and shipping labels under the staircase.In contrast, the homes on this year’s tour all have plaster walls, indigenous wood, built-in cabinetry and atypical dimensions.

The 2017 Christmas Homes Tour will feature five Craftsman Bungalows along with one “Special Project” – a turn-of-the-century warehouse built in 1919 recently converted into living space, which was singlehandedly designed and built by one of Enfield’s newer residents, Lee Jones. The exposed beams, brick arches, stain glass, heated flooring and open design are all reminiscent of Craftsman design elements but now have an up-to-date twist in this spacious warehouse.

To learn more about Craftsman style, Maggie Gregg, Regional Director, Eastern Office of Preservation North Carolina, will give a lecture on December 2 at 11 a.m. at Bellamy Manor & Gardens. Gregg, who has a “lifelong love of preservation,” was one of the first graduates of Edgecombe Community College’s Historic Preservation Technology Program. The lecture will last an hour.

The tour begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m. Tickets ($25) are available at Aunt Ruby's Peanuts prior to the date of the event. A senior discount ($20) will be given to those who purchase tickets at Bellamy Manor on the day-of-the-event, at 613 Glenview Road, Enfield, where the lecture is taking place. Please arrive at 10:30 a.m. so you can purchase tickets and hear the 11 a.m. lecture. Tickets can also be purchased online at

An evening prayer service will be held at the Historic Episcopal Church of the Advent, 200 Batchelor Avenue, on Saturday, December 2, 5:30. A Community Choir, with organist Sally Mosely and Choir Director Jesse Shearin, will perform during the service. If you plan to stay the weekend in Enfield, the annual Christmas service at Whitaker’s Chapel, a Heritage Landmark of the United Methodist Church and also on the National Register of Historic Places, will be held the following day, Sunday, December 3, at 3 p.m. This year Whitaker’s Chapel will be celebrating its 277th anniversary.

The Downtown Enfield Restoration and Preservation Association (DERP) is a non-profit membership organization comprised of business owners and citizens to strengthen and support downtown revitalization. The organization’s primary focus is stabilization of existing infrastructure, revitalization of abandoned properties through redevelopment, promote Enfield’s natural eco-agri-cultural tourism opportunities and to develop and publish resources and economic incentives to attract and retain business in Downtown Enfield. DERP supports Enfield, “American Made Since 1740.” This past year, DERP has planted 17 Crepe Myrtle trees in the downtown area, installed four new awnings on downtown store fronts and commissioned  Napoleon Hill to restore a mural on a Dennis Street building. For more information about the house tour or the day’s events or DERP, contact Suzann McKiernan Anderson at 252-445-2234.

PHOTO CREDIT: Susanna Martin

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