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Sims family brings history life

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Evening on Main attendees will have the opportunity to view all of the recent renovations completed at this East Main Street home, owned by Larry and Lisa Sims, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of B. Shacklett)

Lisa and Larry Sims are known for their revitalization efforts near downtown Murfreesboro, and after nearly a decade of painstaking restoration of their East Main Street home, they are ready to open the doors to supporters of the revitalization program as hosts of the annual Evening On Main fundraiser.

Their home will be showcased during this year's Evening on Main, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 537 E. Main St. in Murfreesboro.

The home has been acclaimed by well-known architect, author and researcher Chris DiMattei, as the only known Queen Anne Victorian George F. Barber house of its kind in America.

Until now, the historic home has only been viewed by tourists from the outside looking in as a spot on the Historic Murfreesboro Walking Tour.

One of the most successful domestic architects of the late-Victorian period in the United States, Barber's plans were used for houses in all 50 states, as well as in nations as far away as Japan and the Philippines.

More than four-dozen Barber houses are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and several dozen more are listed as part of historic districts.

Barber began designing houses in his native DeKalb, Ill., in the late-1880s, before permanently moving his base to Knoxville in 1888.

The Sims home is unique in that the plans were altered from two stories to a story and a half by original builder W.E. Haynes, who owned a dry goods store on the Square.

Larry, owner of Sims Realty and Auction, and his wife, Lisa, a talented artist specializing in portraiture, have amassed a collection of incredible antiques within the home and took considerable care to retain each of its period design elements.

“It’s more than just a home, its a conversation piece,” Larry said. “We’ve been collecting antiques for over 40 years, and it’s kind of like an artists’ painting that takes 40 years to paint.”

Their daughter,  Holly, is in charge of the entertainment for the evening, choosing the band which will play around the large pool in the backyard where guests will enjoy food and wine compliments of the Main Street Board of Directors.

“It was the pool that kept us from opening the home sooner for the Main Street Board,” Larry said. “(Executive Director) Kathleen (Herzog) can be very persistent, and we agreed to open the home only after it was completely finished, which included the finishing touch a swimming pool.”

“When Kathleen called yet again after the pool was finished, we finally agreed to host the Main Street fundraiser because it’s such a great event for the downtown,” he added.

Those wishing to make reservations to attend the fundraiser may call 615-895-1887.

The cost of each ticket is $25, and all donations to the Main Street revitalization program are tax deductible.

Tagged under  Architecture, Decorating, Entertaining, Evening on Main, History, Home Improvement, Murfreesboro, Real Estate

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