Tour to offer glimpse of historic downtown homes’ kitchens

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In true Southern style, downtown homeowners will welcome visitors through the back door during the upcoming walking tour. Courtesy photo.
In true Southern style, downtown homeowners will welcome visitors through the back door during the upcoming walking tour. Courtesy photo.

Want to know what some of downtown Wilmington’s most impressive historic homes look like on the inside?

Saturday, Oct. 10 is your chance to find out during the Residents of Old Wilmington’s (ROW’s) Back Door Kitchen Tour. ROW is a nonprofit organization of residents dedicated to supporting and enhancing downtown Wilmington.

The tenth annual self-guided tour will once again give participants a sneak peek into an array of abodes–from an awe-inspiring mansion to a delightful cottage, and lots more in between.

Kitchens range from the simple and rustic to the elaborate set-up for the everyday gourmand. The tours will allow participants to see firsthand how modern implements have been incorporated in homes that are more than 100 years old.

Beyond the aesthetics, organizers say a big part of the tour’s appeal is the stories and fun facts behind these often centuries-old homes.

Once again, the tour will include the recipient of the Dolly Pearson Downtown Beautiful Garden Award. The award is named in honor of the late Dolly Pearson (affectionately called “Miss Dolly”), an avid gardener and founding member of ROW who died last year at the age of 102.

The Back Door Kitchen Tour is a major fundraiser for ROW, which uses the proceeds to benefit the downtown community. Previous projects funded by the tour include: the Venus flytrap statue at the Wilmington Riverwalk, new seats at the Hannah Block Community Arts Center, Segways for the Wilmington Police Department, a summer program at D.C. Virgo and new pumps for Kenan Fountain on Market Street.

The walking tour runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, and stretches from South Front Street to North Fifth Avenue. A free trolley will be available for those who do not want to make the trek.

All tour-goers will receive a “mini-mag” — a 12-page magazine with information about the homes and a map.

Admission is $25 for adults ($12 for children 12 and under).

Tickets are available the day of the tour at Bellamy Mansion Museum, 503 Market St., or at any of the homes or garden on the tour:

  • 312 N. Fifth Ave.
  • 509 S. Fourth St.
  • 20 S. Fifth Ave.
  • 208 Castle St.
  • 520 Orange St.
  • 411 S. Second St.
  • 614 Dock St.
  • 207 Nun St.
  • 401 S. Front St.

Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the following locations:

  • Harris Teeter stores (in the Greater Wilmington area)
  • Finkelsteins, 6 S. Front St.
  • Michael Moore’s Antiques, 539 Castle St.
  • Ivy Cottage, 3020 Market St.
  • Taste the Olive, 1125-D Military Cutoff Road