Hall House and Richfield Gardens on benefit tour – The Stanly News & Press

Across Stanly County, the arrival of spring brings an explosion of floral landscapes and the return of outdoor living. To celebrate the beauty and rich history of Albemarle and Stanly County, the Stanly County Historical Society will host a benefit tour of the courtyard and garden from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 30.

Proceeds from this rain or shine event will fund educational programs and preservation initiatives of the Stanly County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This self-guided tour will provide access to 10 yard spaces and private and public gardens stretching from Albemarle to Richfield that will inspire gardeners of all skill levels. The tour includes a variety of garden spaces, including DIY landscapes, restored formal gardens, and centuries-old family farmhouses.

Site #7 is the formal garden of Dr. Julius Clegg Hall’s home at 343 N. Second St., Albemarle. In 2017, David Scarboro and his late wife, Brenda, purchased the historic home and began restoration of the house and gardens.

Although many of the original plantings have been lost to time and neglect, Scarboro, with the help of local artist John Williams, restored the gardens to the original landscape plan. Most of the hardscapes have survived and been restored, including the well-known pergola.

The pergola was designed as an outdoor tea room for Mary, Dr Hall’s wife. Later, their daughter Evelyn, a self-proclaimed mystic, taught spiritualism and metaphysics there. She has also given talks, including one called “The Many Facets of Healing” where she taught people how to heal themselves with color, music, mind over matter, and meditation.

The sunken garden is now called The Secret Garden after one of Brenda’s favorite books. Restoration of the garden began over three years ago by Bushwackers Landscaping. It will continue to grow and change over the years. A missing rose arbor will be rebuilt in the spring with the addition of perennials and other plants. A dedication of the garden will take place in memory of Brenda Scarboro during the tour of the yard and garden.

Leave the manicured lawns of the city behind for the rolling hills and lush farmlands of northern Stanly County. Site #8 is the home of Tim and Deborah Burris at 24114 Collie Road, Gold Hill, and is just up the road from the 1898 Mattons Grove United Methodist Church.

The garden at 24114 Collie Road, Gold Hill is #8 on the tour. (Contributed)

Tim and Deborah purchased the derelict property in 1981. Their first task was to make the 1910 property habitable. This was followed by years of upgrades to meet the needs of a growing family.

Tim and Deborah retained much of the original character of the house and grounds while completing a deck, brick paver patio, raised vegetable garden and larger garden and many other landscaping changes. More recently, they have started restoration projects for each of the outbuildings.

Their children enjoyed growing up there with nature. Deer, wild turkeys, blue herons, red and gray foxes and a variety of songbirds have shared the property. They especially enjoyed the countless clear night skies, sunrises and sunsets. On the eastern edge of the property next to the raised vegetable garden is a large evergreen tree. They called it the “elves” tree and said that on Christmas the elves would come out of the woods one evening and decorate it for Christmas. It was part of the childhood magic of the property. To continue the stories and magic of this property, there are little fairy houses here and there.

Tim and Deborah have carried on the traditions started in the early 1900’s by the Collie Barringer family by hosting large gatherings of family and friends pouring onto the property for picnics, oyster roasts and barbecues. They also hosted the regional equestrian clubs which sponsor wagon trains and horseback rides. Most significant of all events was the site of their daughter’s wedding in 2014 against the backdrop of the rustic barn.

Advance $15 wristband tickets are available at the Stanly County History Center, 157 N. Second St., Albemarle, or by mail order at the Stanly County Historical Society, PO Box 1384, Albemarle, NC 28002. Orders by prepaid correspondence will be held at the calling station at 1852 Isaiah Snuggs House, 112 N. Third St, Albemarle, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wristband tickets will be purchased for $20 on the day of the home visit Isaiah Snuggs. All ticket sales are non-refundable donations. Direct inquiries to [email protected] or call 704-986-3777.

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