Friday, December 10, 2010

Reynolda House Christmas Candlelight Tour

This evening we kicked off our anniversary get-away weekend with a tour of
Reynolda House during the museum's annual Christmas candlelight event!
The last time I peeked in on the indoor pool it was empty...
See those photos, and learn more about Reynolda House here
We've enjoyed the shoppes at Reynolda Village and have toured the beautiful
greenhouse and gardens many times; however, this was our first tour of the
interior of the estate. Did you know in 1917, the year Reynolda House was
finished, that Winston-Salem was the largest city in North Carolina? Or
that nearby Reynolda Road was the first paved road in North Carolina after
Mrs. Reynolds paid $10,000 to have three miles of the road in front of the
the estate paved? But as beautiful as the estate is, and it really is! I find its
history mainly tragic and sad. Mr. Reynolds died of pancreatic cancer at
age 68, just six months after the family moved in at Christmas, 1917. And,
Mrs. Reynolds, thirty years his junior, died at age 44, three days after she
gave birth to a son she had with her second husband. Mrs. Reynolds died
while all five of her beloved children were minors. We also learned that the
Reynolds' daughter, Mary Reynolds-Babcock and her family later moved to
the estate, but it was just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because it
was so expensive to maintain it during the war, the family had to vacate the
estate to live in a small electricians cottage. And of course, there is the sad
story of Zachary Smith Reynolds, who was murdered in the house! So for
all its nearly unimaginable opulence, to me the house lacks a happy soul   
Nevertheless, Reynolda House and Village is a treasure for Winston-Salem. And,
following our candlelight tour this evening, we were treated to a yummy reception
while the Central Carolina Children's Chorus performed Christmas carols!
Happy Weekend!


  1. What a LOVELY way to kick off your ANNIVERSARY weekend!
    Can't wait to hear about The Grove Park!
    And I really want to swim laps in that pool!

  2. That looks like a good way to start your weekend:) Too bad such a beautiful place has such a sad personal history. This estate reminds me of Hearst Castle here on the central coast. I have yet to take the night tour when it's all decorated for Christmas.

  3. Happy Anniversary and thanks for taking us along on your tour, beautiful home, somewhat sad history and wonderful photos as always.


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