Salisbury Home Tour

October 12, 2013

Along with the ticket for the train excursion to Asheville, I bought a discounted ticket for the Salisbury home tour the day before. It included a coupon for discounts at downtown merchants, and somehow it seems like that paid for most of my lunch when I arrived in Salisbury on Saturday. From the restaurant, I headed off on foot for the tour. Somehow it didn't occur to me to take my real camera along, so the few pictures were made with my iPhone 5.

One of my earliest stops was at what is now called the Fulton-Mock-Blackmer-Dixon house, built in 1820 and purchased by actor Sidney Blackmer in 1931. The house had several different owners over the years in between, including Maxwell Chambers and Davidson College. Blackmer appeared in 120 movies from The Perils of Pauline in 1914 to Rosemary's Baby in 1968, appeared on Broadway, winning a Tony for Come Back Little Sheba, and had numerous radio parts. Yet he maintained a home in his native Salisbury and raised his sons there. (BTW, Blackmer appeared as Teddy Roosevelt in at least a dozen films.)

Blackmer's widow Suzanne continued to live in the house until it was considerably damaged by fire on December 1, 1984. She later lived in an apartment in New York City, and following a lengthy legal battle with Donald Trump, she was able to live there until her death.

In 2012 the house was purchased by the Historic Salisbury Foundation, and restoration began to the point that it was safe for the public to visit the downstairs in 2013. The Dixons bought the house in 2014.

The fire exposed layers of wallpapers. The front columns had been stored in the house for protection over the years. They had been moved into an adjoining storage building by the time of the tour.

Old cars were also on display, including the 1949 Chrysler New Yorker and the 1959 Lincoln Continental.

There was also a Civil War encampment on a vacant lot in a residential area. It appears to be the Union-Confederate Coalition Army, but since it was by now about 5:00 pm, maybe things had been more organized earlier.

2013 Asheville Train Excursion

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