Newcomb-Smith House featured on Christmas Tour

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, November 17, 2018

By Mary Woodruff

The Riparian Woman’s Club is excited to include the home of Ken Newcomb and Steve Smith on the Christmas Home Tour to be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7; and from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. It is a home that many locals are familiar with and will be thrilled to see all the antiques throughout the home. It is located at 208 Church St.

Sometimes referred to as the “Tillar House,” or the “Virginia Green House,” the two-story, brick colonial house situated on the northeast corner of Church and Ingleside streets, was built in 1928 by William T. Tillar Jr. a member of a prominent Emporia family. From what can be determined, the original home had four rooms downstairs, four rooms upstairs, three and a half bathrooms and a full, walk-out basement. In the 1940s, Mr. Tillar added a two-story addition to the back of the house. The top story of the addition, which is on the same level as the main floor of the original dwelling, is a large, eat-in kitchen with a walk-in pantry, laundry closet and half-bath. The bottom story is a single-car garage accessible from Ingleside Street, and is open to the basement.

In the 1990s, another two-story addition was added to the back of the previous addition by Virginia Green, a former Ziegfeld Follies girl who owned the house at that time. The upper level of this addition is a large bedroom and bathroom. A recreation room is below.

The present day home, purchased in 2011 by current owners, Steve Smith and Kenny Newcomb, features four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, formal living and dining rooms, a family room, an eat-in kitchen, recreation room, two additional half-baths, an office, a garage and a basement.

The interior of the home is eclectically decorated with a mixture of old and new furnishings of different styles and materials collected over the past 30 years by the owners. When entering the home through the front door, the formal dining room is accessed through the French doors to the left. Featured here is a large, leaded crystal chandelier purchased in Germany by its original owner. Displayed in the china cabinets are many pieces of Noritake and Occupied Japan china, Waterford crystal and silver.

To the right, is the formal living room. The focal point of the room is the cherry baby grand piano. Built-in shelves, a serpentine curio cabinet, and the fireplace mantel display many interesting objects, books and lamps, many of which are vintage. Many family photographs and an original oil painting can also be found here. French doors next to the fireplace lead out to the columned screened porch which runs the depth of the original part of the house.

Toward the back of the house and to the left is the family room, a rectangular shaped room with a three-sided bump-out. The décor here is oak, leather and iron. A stained glass window set into the sixteen inch thick wall separating the family room and kitchen gives an added touch of color. Some of the artwork on the walls here are prints by local artists.

The remaining two rooms on the main floor of the house are the large eat-in kitchen and the master bedroom. Shelves in the kitchen display more objects collected over the years: figurines, cookie jars, decanters, and even an old juke box controller. A door at the back of the kitchen leads to the master bedroom, a large room with its own bathroom and walk-in closet. The room is decorated with a mix of antique and traditional style furniture.

Ken and Steve look forward to showing you their beautifully decorated home. A must see.

Others whose homes on tour are Mary Ann Renner, John and Jenny Holtkamp, Mark and Wendi Simmons, and Fortsville, proprietors, David and Jessica Yoder.

Tickets are $13 each, and may be purchased at the E-G Chamber of Commerce, the Peanut Patch in Courtland, any Riparian member, or by calling 434-594-4369.

MARY WOODRUFF is a member of the Riparian Woman’s Club.