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Nonprofits: Historic homes add flavor to kitchen tour fundraiser

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Susan Moses of Highmarket Street in Georgetown was still touching up the paint last week on her redesigned kitchen as she prepared to host visitors Nov. 8 as part of the third annual kitchen tour for the benefit of Miss Ruby’s Kids, a family literacy organization that began serving at-risk toddlers and their families in 2003.

Moses and her husband, Harby, a building contractor, bought the Shaker style house in 1998 but added a den and back porch with a fireplace before updating the kitchen. “We are family oriented,” Moses said. “We want to cook and eat all in one room. This is a simple, family-style kitchen, very usable.” A big island provides workspace, drawers for utensils and room to serve and eat. Moses wanted storage space in her new kitchen and got it. “My favorite thing is the pantry,” she said. New cabinets cover one wall, providing storage for small appliances, pots and pans on one side and canned goods and cooking supplies on the other with a pullout broom closet. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a farmhouse sink. The dishwasher and a warming drawer are hidden by cabinet doors.

Moses said Georgetown kitchen designer Pat Cooper made suggestions like a corner door that gives complete access to her cabinet space. “She keeps you from making a lot of mistakes,” Moses said.

Cooper’s handiwork will be on display at two more of the nine houses on the kitchen tour. She helped Sam and Brooks Hamilton on St. James Street and Graham and Julie Osteen on Prince Street.

In early 2012 the Hamiltons began restoration of the 1830 Greek Revival cottage where his parents, the late Legare and Mabel Hamilton, lived. They planned to replace the Formica countertops and vinyl floor in the kitchen with more of the same when Chris Mitchell of Plantation Flooring found heart pine floorboards under layers of linoleum, burlap and glue. They couldn’t cover up that beautiful flooring that had once been part of the house’s wrap-around porch — it slants just enough to let rainwater run off and a hidden ceiling was painted blue to ward off the haints. “Were we lucky, or what?” Brooks Hamilton said.

Cabinetmaker James Propps of Hagley, owner of Challenge Cabinets, salvaged enough original beadboard to make a backsplash and exposed a rough-hewn beam bearing the initials WPK, thought to be a relative of the first owner, Samuel Kirton, from the days when the kitchen and outhouse were in the backyard.

“We made the kitchen U-shaped,” Brooks Hamilton said. “It’s so much more workable than it was.” They left an adjoining pantry intact and have plenty of hidden storage.

Graham and Julie Osteen just completed remodeling their Greek Revival house on Prince Street, the Charlotte Atkinson-Rouquie-Lumpkin House built in 1825. The kitchen, breakfast room, and family room are a single open space. The kitchen island is a large rectangle of quartzite and wood, and the backsplash is glass. The lighting fixtures over the island are contemporary handmade pendants of painted copper.

The remaining houses on the tour include:

• Broad Street: This 1903 Queen Anne house, home of Peter and Becky Mitchell, has been meticulously restored and updated. The kitchen has a large island of quartz that blends well with the granite countertops.

• King Street: This house, owned by Chip and Melanie Daniels, is a testament to the history of the Rosa family, who resided here for over 100 years. The kitchen is a cook’s kitchen. Evidence is the stacks of Melanie Daniels’ jams and canned goods that she gives to friends.

• King Street: Restoration of this 1912 wood frame house known as the Craven House and owned by Bill and Mary Paige Murray, was completed in 2007 with granite countertops and island and cherry custom cabinets. Original doors and windows blend the old with the new.

• Queen Street: A French country kitchen with cathedral ceiling and fireplace built of old brick has been added to this 1770 Colonial, known as the Richard Dozier House and owned by Jerry and Jana Miller.

• Screven Street: The Charleston-style rectory for Prince George, Winyah, Church was built in 1770 and is home to the Rev. and Mrs. Paul Fuener. Its kitchen countertops and island combine marble and stainless steel.

• Prince Street: This Antebellum house built in late 1930s and owned by Dan and Linda Ray has had Victorian updates. Former Georgetown Mayor Morgan’s chapel has been transformed into a kitchen that pairs with a sunroom as the central feature of the house.

Organizers from Miss Ruby’s Kids committed to holding the kitchen tour in Georgetown after last year’s fire on Front Street. Tour planners have added an arts and crafts fair this year. Vendors from the Carolinas will display handmade items at First Baptist Church, located at Highmarket and Cleland streets, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the tour. Among the featured artists will be Jack Steele, a nature and wildlife photographer from Georgetown, and Susan Ellis of Pawleys Island, who dyes and pleats silk scarves and other wearable items using a Japanese technique. Four jewelers and artisans from Charleston displaying etched glassware and handcrafted writing pens are also among those scheduled to participate.

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Kitchen tour tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the event. There is no admission fee to the arts and crafts fair. For more information or to reserve tickets for the tour contact Traci Butler at 843-436-7199.

The tour will be held rain or shine. Pick up tickets at tour headquarters at First Baptist Church, 219 Cleland St.

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