Give the Gift of History & Culture this Holiday Season
Thursday December 3, 2015
If you are looking for the perfect gift for those on your holiday list, consider giving a pass to the 2016 Martinsville-Henry County Garden Day Tour. The tour theme for the April 27 event is “Bassett, Pioneering the Future.” Club representatives will have advance tickets to the tour available for sale as holiday gifts at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center on Saturday, December 19 from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The 2016 tour will offer a panorama of life in Bassett, a little town that became a big industrial powerhouse during the 20th century. Work is underway to transform the community for the 21st century and two local Garden Club of Virginia affiliates are also joining the effort by creating the most dynamic and interactive tour to date.
According to Historic Garden Week chairman, Lizz Stanley, "Our tour does not merely seek to unfold history by chronicling people, places, and things from 'long ago and far away'. No indeed, a vibrant chapter in Bassett history has begun, and an exhibit at the Bassett Train Depot will offer visitors a chance to find out more about plans to reinvigorate the area by building on its strengths. As for the town’s storied past, the tour showcases a slice of history, spiced up with special guests, a savory luncheon, and a Wine & Moonshine Tasting for those 21 and older."
Garden Day in Bassett is part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s signature Historic Garden Week. Historic Garden Week is the country’s only statewide house-and-garden tour event. Tours take place during the eight-day period in some 30 communities, drawing an estimated 30,000 visitors to Virginia from across the state, country and world.
The tour’s stops reflect Bassett’s unique sense of place as the community that is home to what was once the largest manufacturer of wooden furniture in the world and kindred companies, while remaining a small town with a sense of connection. Ticket holders to the Bassett tour will have the opportunity to tour the Haley home, a 1938 Classical Revival-style house built by one of the founders of Bassett Furniture Co. as well as a small brick factory home, one of those built during the early 20th century to house furniture workers.
Other stops include a Georgian Revival-style structure with interior gardens, a 1938 Colonial Revival style post office featuring an authentic fresco, a 1923 Colonial Revival train depot, a vineyard housed on the grounds of an estate built by one of Bassett Furniture Industries’ chairmen, a historical center that holds the keys to Bassett’s past and a state park that conserves land for present and future generations to enjoy.
The Bassett tour has its roots in the past as three sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but an exhibit at the depot will showcase what residents and area leaders envision for the future. The exhibit outlines efforts by the Smith River Small Towns Collaborative, with the Harvest Foundation, to transform Bassett and the other neighboring industrial towns of Stanleytown, Fieldale and Koehler.
Tickets are $20 each and free gift wrap will be offered. Additional gift options will also be offered at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center during the December 19 sale including books by local author Mary Clark Dalton who will be present for a book signing and reading.
The Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center is located inside the New College Institute at the corner of Church and Moss Streets. For additional information on this and other events, go to VisitMartinsville.com or call 276.632.8006.