Get a sneak peek inside historic Canton homes
by staff reports
December 09, 2012 12:00 AM | 4874 views | 2 2 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Bill Grant and Jeff Brown will have their home featured in this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes in Downtown Canton. <br>Staff/Todd Hull
Bill Grant and Jeff Brown will have their home featured in this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes in Downtown Canton.
Staff/Todd Hull
The house has six Christmas trees set up in the different rooms. A tree in the modern kitchen is decorated with edible ornaments, garland and cookie cutters.
The house has six Christmas trees set up in the different rooms. A tree in the modern kitchen is decorated with edible ornaments, garland and cookie cutters.
A guest room/office with a simple silver and blue Christmas tree.
A guest room/office with a simple silver and blue Christmas tree.
The outside of Grant and Jeff Brown's home in downtown Canton.
The outside of Grant and Jeff Brown's home in downtown Canton.
The Cherokee County Historical Society is presenting the first Historic Canton Holiday Tour of Homes Friday and Saturday featuring an inside look at three private homes and three commercial and public buildings.

The event begins Friday night with a candlelight tour from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature champagne and other specialty drinks at several of the stops.

On Saturday tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for either date are $20.

“This event will enable the Historical Society to bring visitors to downtown Canton and show them the link between Canton’s tangible history and its promising future,” said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of the Historical Society. “The good thing about this tour is that all the houses are decorated very differently.”

The Holiday Tour highlights Canton and its unique historic character, Joyner said.

The 2012 tour showcases the Spears-Eggleston home, the Bell-Grant home, and the Jones-Johnston home. Three commercial and public buildings will also be featured and decorated for the season: the Marble Courthouse, Jones and Cloud Insurance and Edgewater Hall.

“There is something for everyone on the tour,” Joyner said. “The Jones-Johnston home is formal, the Bell-Grant home is a modern take on a historic home and the Spears- Eggleston home is a casual-style bungalow.”

Canton was founded in 1832 and grew rapidly after the railroad came through in 1879. While downtown Canton has changed considerably during the past 100 years, the historic downtown contains 300 buildings in its National Register Historic District, according to Joyner.

The Historic Homes Tour will highlight some of the historic homes and businesses in downtown Canton, while encouraging visitors to experience the neighborhood shops and restaurants along Main Street, she said.

Shuttle buses will run continuously from the Marble Courthouse to visit all of the sites.

All proceeds benefit the Cherokee County Historical Society and will be used for education and outreach programs.

Bell-Grant Home

Circa 1900

This house was built circa 1900 and early occupants included the Charlie Bell family. During the 1950s it was owned by a local dentist, Dr. Charles Johnson, who expanded it and added the pool. In 2003, Bill Grant completed a renovation and kept the footprint of the building essentially the same, only adding a kitchen and porch. The gunite pool was meticulously restored and the landscaping done to preserve indigenous vegetation and a century-old bamboo planting. The house has been professionally decorated in the modern style.

The home is meticulously decorated for the holidays with a variety of classic and mid-century modern decorations and a host of Christmas trees adorned with lots of lights.

Jones-Johnston Home

Circa 1948

This house was built in 1948 by Ben and Augusta Jones. The house is a raised ranch in the Georgian style. The architect was Miller Barnes of Woodstock, whose other projects include Cherokee High School and the 1979 Coca-Cola headquarters. Harry and Rebecca Johnston bought the house from Harry’s mother in 1998. Harry and Rebecca Johnston refurbished the house, installing its first central air conditioning. They have kept the original design and style of the house.

Decked out with traditional holiday decorations that recall childhood Christmases, the home is embellished with trees decorated with ornaments collected for years by the home owners.

Spears-Eggleston Home

Circa 1919

This house was built in 1919 by Roscoe Spears. His brother Lee Spears, a former sheriff, built two nearby houses. The house was later purchased by Jesse McLain, who sold it to E.B. Green in 1937. The house is in the Craftsman style with a prominent front gable. The front porch had been enclosed during a renovation; however, the Egglestons returned it to its original configuration.

Vintage, comfortable Christmas decorations in keeping with the period of the house are used throughout the house.

Edgewater Hall

Circa 1922

Edgewater Hall, circa 1922, is also known as the A. L. Coggins House. The house is a two-story red brick structure with a central hall plan on both floors, as well as an attic and basement. It was designed by noted Atlanta architect Francis P. Smith (1886-1971) and has detailing in locally quarried marble. A. L. Coggins referred to his 350 acres as Crescent Farm. The farm derived its name from the manner in which the Etowah River partially encircles it in a crescent-like shape. It is now the office for Dr. Donna Haley.

The house will be lavishly decorated for the season by Haley and a number of noted local designers.

Jones & Cloud Insurance

Circa 1841

According to the owner, Lamar Roberts, the building was built in 1841 by Jabez Galt where he operated a mercantile store here with his son, Joel Galt In 1936 it became an insurance agency operated by P.W. Jones Jr. In 1976, Sam Cloud joined the business which then became Jones and Cloud Insurance. The building was heavily damaged during a fire which destroyed adjacent buildings in 2009. Due to the fire, the interior needed to be gutted, but the original floors and ceilings were restored and custom doors and woodwork created to complete the historic renovation. The building will be decorated for the holidays in the historic Williamsburg style.

Marble Courthouse

Circa 1927

The Cherokee County Courthouse is a five-story Classical Revival building made of native marble from nearby Tate, and has many fine details, including four sculptured open-winged eagles above the Corinthian columns, and a cartouche carved with the building’s 1927 construction start date. The courthouse was designed by one of the Southeast’s foremost architects, A. Ten Eyck Brown of Atlanta, and is one of only a few native marble courthouses in Georgia. The courthouse includes the restored historic jail and History Museum and Visitors Center

Tour Details: Candlelight Tour on Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Friday only, champagne and other special drinks will be offered at three of the sites. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the tour will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20. They may be purchased online at, or by calling (770) 345-3288.

Tickets are also available at the following locations:

n Cherokee County History Museum and Visitors Center

100 North Street, Suite 140, Canton

n Chamberhouse

145 West Main Street, Canton

n Three Sisters Gifts Woodstock

6205 Hickory Flat Hwy., Ste. 106, Canton

n Woodstock Visitors Center

Dean’s Store

8588 Main Street, Woodstock

In addition, tickets will also be available at Edgewater Hall.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Carol Stafford
December 22, 2012
Cheokee county is a very historic area in North Georgia. I as well as many others are very grateful to the Jones, Spears, and Bagwell family.
Carol Stafford
December 22, 2012
Cherokee County is a very historic area. Great information. I enjoy reading the Cherokee Tribune on the web. Thank You
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