Candlelight Tour of Historic Lake City set for Sunday

December 6, 2018 GMT

LAKE CITY, S.C. – The sixth annual Candlelight Tour of Historic Lake City will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, and it will feature old and new homes.

Old as in 1903.

New as in 2008.

Some home were built in the middle of that 105-year range.

Five homes will be featured on the tour sponsored by the Lake City Junior Sorosis Club.

Advance tickets are $25 and can be purchased from the Greater Lake City Chamber of Commerce (843-374-8611), Main Street Mercantile and Junior Sorosis Club members. From 1 to 4 p.m. on the day of the tour, tickets can be purchased from the Greater Lake City Chamber of Commerce for $30.


All proceeds will benefit charities in the Lake City area, including the Florence County Disabilities Foundation, Meals on Wheels, the Boys & Girls Club and several others. The club also helps support performing and visual arts programs in Lake City.

The ticket/brochure provides the addresses of homes, a map, descriptions of each home on the tour and other community attractions. Many stores in the downtown area will be open during the tour.

The featured homes, decorated by the homeowners, include a packhouse transformed into a guest house at Moore Farms Botanical Garden.

Local musicians will perform at several of the homes.

The homeowners on the tour are Milton Miles, Donna Nell McElveen, Drs. Albert and Julia Mims, Darla Moore and Roger and Pam Kirby.

Among other community attractions available for visiting during the tour is the Jones Carter Gallery, featuring David Cianni’s The M-Bora Project, an exhibition of cyborgs, robots and other creatures made from recycled materials. The Trax Visual Art Center, Lake City’s newest art exhibition space, also will feature artwork.

The featured homes:

1712 Pine Bay Road

Guest house (packhouse) of Darla Moore

This charming guest house was transformed from the original packhouse on the farm belonging to Darla’s grandparents, Eugene and Lucille Moore. Enjoy listening to the docents share the rich history of the building’s strong agricultural past and now refreshed with modern-day furnishings to welcome guests year-round to Moore Farms Botanical Garden. Imagine that in years bygone that this guest house served as holding storage for tobacco and now gives center stage to a baby grand piano. Musicians Ann Rodgers Chandler, a Lake City native, and Nick Townsend of Florence will perform.

200 Dogwood Lane

Home of Drs. Albert and Julia Mims


This lovely home was built in 1991 for the homeowners from the Southern Living Historical House Collection plans. The house plans called “The Bel Air” adapted a historical residence built on the bank of the Mississippi River north of New Orleans in the early 1800s. The reproduction of The Bel Air designed by William E. Poole of Cary, North Carolina, retains the nostalgia of the original house while incorporating a floor plan to accommodate today’s lifestyle. The symmetry and easy formality of the exterior is echoed by the regular rhythm of the six unadorned Doric columns that support the broad porch. Woodworking details grace each room inside. Deep crown moldings richly define the 10-foot-high ceilings downstairs. Besides being trimmed with fine interior wood detailing, the house is fitted with windows of interesting shapes and sizes. The most spectacular is a grand 14-foot-high Palladian window in the family room. This house lends itself to Christmas decorations from candles in the windows to collections of Santas, nativities and Hallmark ornaments. This house contains many interesting pieces, such as a sampler made from Julia’s Aunt Lucy in the 1920s, a handmade tapestry and lacquerware from Myanmar (Burma), a ship oil painting that has been in the family for many generations, and wedding portraits of their three daughters.

101 Katelyn Drive

Home of Donna Nell McAllister McElveen

This traditional Southern-style home was built in 2008 for Carey and Donna Nell McElveen. The immaculately groomed grounds with the lush towering magnolia trees add much charm to the home. Beveled glass doors at the front and rear entrances welcome guests into the home. Crown molding and unique light fixtures complement the hardwood floors and pastel walls.

Antiques, doll collections and unique pieces of furniture are characteristic of the home’s décor. Many of the pieces were inherited from Donna Nell’s mother. Cherished family portraits grace the walls of the home.

The family’s love of the Christmas season is reflected in the treasured family heirloom decorations. Gold vintage ornaments collected by Donna Nell’s mother adorn the Christmas tree. The numerous nativities are cherished keepsakes collected by the McElveen family throughout their 40 years of wonderful memories and dedicated service in the ministry.

Donna Nell is the author of “Through It All-The Miracle Mural,” which recounts the loss of her son and husband within months of each other. The holiday season is an opportunity for the McElveen family to graciously share their home with a community that has abundantly blessed and loved them.

212 North Blanding Street

Home of Milton Miles

Nestled on the corner of North Blanding Street and Charles Street is the home of Milton Miles and Danny Owens. This charming Cape Cod-style home was built in 1945 by Marion Louis and Alliedo Ward Askins. This home contains an eclectic variety of furnishings due to the owners’ collision of Southern and Midwestern styles. Comfortably and uniquely decorated for Christmas 2018, this residence reflects the warmth and friendliness of Southern hospitality at its best.

1690 Johnsonville Highway

Home of Roger and Pam Kirby

The Kirby home is a quaint farmhouse located 4½ miles east of Lake City on S.C. 341. Circa 1903, the house originally was built by the King family. In the early 1940s, the T.B. Bragdon family purchased the house, and it remained in the Bragdon family until acquired by the Kirbys in 2005. The property was renovated over the following years, and the Kirby family moved into their four-bedroom farmhouse in late 2010.

The home retains many original features, including heart-pine ceilings, walls and flooring in the upstairs portion. Several masonry fireplaces were restored, including original period mantels and surrounds. The downstairs parlor has been converted into a portion of the master suite and music room. Custom cabinetry and patchwork granite backsplash mosaics by local craftsmen are featured in the kitchen. The dining room table, built by Freddie McClam of Lake City, was crafted from a reclaimed front door of the original Henry Gaskins’ house built circa 1865, and it is one of the family’s most cherished possessions.

Kirby, a member of the S.C. House of Representatives, will share his musical talents outside the back door in front of his barn.