Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rugby Pilgrimage 2012

This past Saturday Historic Rugby, Inc., held its biennial Pilgrimage which, with the Christmas Tour of Homes in alternate years, is the only time private homes are open to the public. Houses open represented a mix of historic houses, historic reconstructions of houses previously lost to fire, and new houses built to look like they dated from the 1880s.

Having 1884 Ingleside open was a special treat, since the owners are aged and in ill health. They graciously let a friend show the house for them.  I got my first pictures of Ingleside interiors, so I'll have a post devoted to the house sometime in the future.

Oak Lodge was built in the early 1880s as overflow space for the Tabard Inn and continues to be available for overnight lodging. Shown is the second floor sleeping porch which now is set up as a sitting area, but in the 1880s would have been filled with beds in summers without air conditioning.

Another treat was Uffington House, home of Margaret Hughes, mother of founder Thomas Hughes. Progress has been slow on restoring Uffington House, but two bedrooms have now been furnished based on historical photographs. The room above was occupied by Thomas's daughter Emily, who lived with her grandmother until Margaret's death in 1887.

Wren's Nest was built in 1887 behind Adena Cottage to house the manager of Mr. Wellman's chicken business. It has been extensively restored and modernized by Bob and Mary, formerly of Nashville and Vanderbilt University.

Visitors are greeted by Rita and Carman at Inis Fal Cottage, a newer home in Rugby's Beacon Hill development.

There is so much to see inside Inis Fal that we'll have to pay a return visit soon.

I find Amherst Cottage to be one of the architecturally most-interesting houses in Beacon Hill.

Here owner Lisa greets visitors from Crossville, Tennessee, on her wrap-around porch. Maybe we'll take an in-depth look at this one later, as well.

At Hester Knolle, Jody greeted visitors at the front door,

while Harry presided over his elaborate "man cave" in the basement.

But this is Rugby, after all, and nothing gets by without a little drama.....

The Pilgrimage was scheduled to start at 10, so promptly at 9 the water main broke leading into the village. Several event volunteers brushed their teeth with bottled water, but the cafe had to stop serving, but worse yet, there were no bathroom facilities that worked. But this is Rugby, after all, and history came to the rescue.

A quick-thinking board member just as quickly cleaned out an old "necessary" and visitors proved to be very adaptable. Fortunately water was restored early to three open houses at the northwest end of the village, and these proved to be among the most popular with our visitors. And water was restored to the whole village by 1 pm and the cafe was able to start serving late lunches.

As Shakespeare said, "All's Well that Ends Well." Our good ending included a brief scene from an original play about 1880s Rugby that will be premiered in April as part of Historic Rugby's second Quilt Show.


  1. Nice houses Jim. The ones that attract me the most are those with more open space, less furniture and "things", and porches. I wonder why we quit building porches on to our houses. Cost and lack of space? Or maybe people decided they'd rather hang out in back yards where they didn't have to see so many people in the neighborhood.

    1. I think every house in Rugby has at least one porch; most two. And they're very much a part of the social fabric of the community. There is one planned development about 50 miles from here that advertises itself as "designed for front porch living." People seem to be yearning for community, and porches certainly contribute to making community happen. Now if we could just do without automobiles ......

  2. Beautiful homes. I love going to these type of events.

    1. You're not far away, so do come visit us soon.

  3. I'm loving Rugby more and more. Might have to make a pilgrimage there myself one day.

    1. By all means, do come, and look us up when you do.

    2. By all means, do come, and look us up when you do.