Open houses to promote historic value

Spirit of Christmas Holiday Home Tour
Dec. 5, 5-8 p.m. and Dec. 6 from 2-4 p.m.
$5 tickets available at Jody’s, Main Attraction and Midnite Pottery
Homes on tour: 120 Robins, 511 Magazine, 419 Robins, 615 S. Church, 640 Jefferson, 638 S. Church, 654 Jefferson, 653 S. Church, 641 Allen, 708 S. Church.

TUPELO – What started last year as a neighborhood project to showcase some of its historic homes has evolved this year into a larger effort.
And organizers says it’s not just a fundraiser, but a way to demonstrate the viability of the older parts of town.
Mill Village has teamed up with the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Association to present the “Share the Spirit of Christmas Holiday Home Tour” on Dec. 5-6.
Five homes in Mill Village and five in the historic downtown area will open their doors to the public. Tickets are $5 and grant entry into all 10 homes, each decorated for the holidays.
Half of the proceeds will go to the neighborhood associations, the other half to needy families.
“It shows the spirit of collaboration between neighborhoods first of all,” said Zell Long, the city’s community development director. “But it also increases an awareness and an appreciation of historic structures. People see that improvements are being made and it gets them interested in the area.”
The event started last year with nine homes in Mill Village, which revitalized itself from a downtrodden area just a few years ago into a desirable location today. It has some of the oldest houses in Tupelo.
“This event shows the importance of preservation,” said Mill Village Neighborhood Association President Jane Carruth, who started the open house last year with nine homes. Some 300 people toured.
Carruth said residents need to see that historic structures have as much beauty – or more – than the recent models. And that older neighborhoods can be as warm and inviting and safe as the newer ones.
That’s one reason the Historic Downtown neighborhood joined, said its association President Allie West.
“We want to show everyone it is easy and fun to live in downtown,” West said. “A lot of the homes on the tour have been restored and have kept a lot of the original character that makes downtown Tupelo unique.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal