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Twin City to hold Christmas Tour of Homes
This photo shows the Durden-Neal House on First Avenue in Twin City. Robert Wade Durden and his wife, Annie Kate Roberts Durden, organized and founded Durden Banking Company Inc. They had this Folk Victorian Cottage built in 1920and were the first residents. The house still has its pine floors and original fireplaces; it is the only house in the area with a storm cellar. Donna and Jimmy Neal purchased the house from Tillie Ann Durden Burr, Wade and Annie Kate's daughter, in 1978. Not until this year did the house undergo remodeling, with 99.9 percent of the work being done by Jimmy Neal, a carpenter by trade. The exterior remains unaltered, and the interior retains the original tongue and groove wainscoting, the original farmhouse sink, as well as many other details. - photo by Special

Besides being "twice as friendly, twice as nice," Twin City, just 35 miles west of Statesboro and 13 miles west of Portal on U.S. Highway 80, is a "Little City (with a) Big History."

Community members have been hard at work since the city's historic district was listed earlier this year on the National Register of Historic Places.

A year ago, the city was admitted into the Main Street Program at the Our Town level as well. Among their major accomplishments this year has been the formation of Historic Twin City, GA, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Historic Twin City's first major fundraiser is just around the corner. The group is sponsoring a Christmas Tour of Homes, set for 2-5 p.m. Sunday. In addition to historic homes, two historic churches and the O.A. Hall store, which has been in continuous operation since 1929, will be featured. Here's a taste of what you'll see:

1. St. James AME Zion Church, Bailey Street. You'll receive a warm welcome from the members whose youth will share gospel and Christmas songs.

2. Twin City United Methodist Church, South College Street. Every Christmas, the sanctuary of this church is beautifully decorated with "the hanging of the greens." The church is also known for the painting of Jesus, "Come Unto Me," by John Waters, a student of Norman Rockwell, which hangs behind the altar.

3. The Barwick-Dudley House, First Avenue. This 1½-story Folk Victorian/Georgian Cottage Painted Lady was built in 1890 and is imaginatively painted inside and out.

4. The Durden-Neal House, First Avenue. Recently remodeled but true to its original design. This is a warm and inviting Folk Victorian Cottage - complete with a storm cellar.

5. O.A. Hall Store, North Railroad Avenue (Georgia Highway 23). Oldest single family-owned continuously operated business in Emanuel County. Spruced up for the holidays, it's reminiscent of Fezziwig's store in "A Christmas Carol." Don't miss the exhibit of Alberta Rountree's hand-painted china on display.

Tickets, which are $10 each or three for $20, may be purchased in advance by sending a check to Our Town/HTCGA, Inc., PO Box 980, Twin City, GA 30471. Or they can be reserved by calling (478) 763-2696; please leave a message. Children under 11 will be admitted free. Reserved tickets as well as maps for the tour can be picked up the day of the tour at the Adam Brinson Historical Society Cabin at 130 N. College St. at U.S. Highway 80 between 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets are also available at all branches of Durden Banking Company, Twin City Drugs, City Hall (Twin City), and the Welcome Center at the Oglesby Pavilion.

Venues open at 2 p.m. and will receive guests until 5 p.m. All proceeds go toward the work of Historic Twin City, GA, Inc.


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