Newly restored Tower House added to annual candlelight tour

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Peter Mooz called Sue Woodward, executive director of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society, last week to make a donation to the organization.

But before the conversation was over, his newly restored Tower House, at 112 Franklin St., had been had been added to the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s 28th

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Annual Candlelight Tour this weekend.

The tour, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4-5, will feature four additional historic homes in the Old Town community, including the historical society’s new headquarters, the Phillips-Dawson House, 137 Bank St.

Other houses featured include the Jones-Carmine House, 302 Bank St., the Widow Snyder House, 212 Bank St., and the Pinner-Faircloth House, 227 Pinner St.

&uot;When I was talking with Sue, she mentioned that a lot of people would like to see the house and offered to add us to the candlelight tour,&uot; said Mooz. &uot;I love the house and I’m glad for the chance to open it up.

&uot;Many people stop to see the Queen Anne-style decoration of Tower House with its fish scale shingles, diamond- paned windows and green-and-yellow original paint scheme,&uot; he continued. &uot;This will be a chance for them to see the interior decoration and how people of Suffolk lived more than a hundred years ago.&uot;

Mooz, a Virginia Beach resident and retired director of the Virginia Museum in Richmond, bought the house in May 2003 from downtown businessman Andy Damiani in May 2003. Since that time, he has worked to restore the house to its glory of its Victorian heyday.

Visitors will see a professionally restored interior, which survived nearly 95 percent intact, Mooz said.

The house retains its original woodwork, gasoliers, pocket doors and fireplace with gilded decoration and interior and exterior have been painted their original Victorian colors, Mooz said. Especially important are the carefully preserved stained glass windows, he added.

Period antiques and collectibles will be on special display for the tour, including Victorian porcelain, a labeled Stickley Arts and Crafts rocker and pre-war electric trains, he said.

The parlor will exhibit an authentic Victorian Christmas tree, while the dining room will show elements of a traditional Russian Twelfth Night celebration, Mooz said.

Advance tickets are $12. Tickets on the day of the event are $15.

Tickets are being sold Seaboard Train Station and Railroad Museum, the Prentis House Visitors Center, Riddick’s Folly and, during the tour, at the Dawson House.