Wow! This is my final "My Favorite Ornaments" blog post!
When I started this series, I had no idea how fast it would pass or that I would even have enough to say for all 31 days. (I know you are all shocked by that revelation!) ;D
But I did it. And I am ending it with my all-time second favorite ornament, after The Nail!
Built in 1883 by Adolphus Lafayette Shuford, this house holds a rich heritage for us, as Adolphus was Scott's great, great, great grandfather on his mother's side.
Below are a few pictures and a short history of the house and its occupants.
542 2nd Street, NE
Maple Grove (1875-1883) was the home of Adolphus Lafayette Shuford and his family, and is one of the oldest remaining houses in Hickory. It is a simple but handsome representation of the Italianate style. A.L. Shuford was a prominent early citizen of Hickory. When in 1863 the first attempt was made to incorporate the village of Hickory Tavern, Shuford was one of the six founding commissioners. He was also the first agent in Hickory of the Western North Carolina Railroad, and he played an important role in the founding of Claremont College. Shuford is credited with having imported the first Jersey cattle to Catawba County. In the early 1870s Shuford began acquiring acreage near the town of Hickory in order to begin a dairy. On the farm Shuford began building the nucleus of his Jersey herd and a house large enough to accommodate his wife and children. With the growth of Hickory, Shuford's house became part of an increasingly urban area. (It is now part of the Claremont High School District.) After A.L. Shuford's death in 1885, members of his immediate family occupied the house until 1912, when it was sold to D.H. Boyd. Around 1970 Mrs. Wade H. Shuford, widow of one of Adolphus Shuford's sons, donated the house to the Hickory Landmarks Society, ensuring its preservation.
Maple Grove is a two-story frame house with weather-board siding, a pedimented-gable roof, gable-end brick chimneys, a three-bay façade, and a two-story rear ell. One of the most distinctive features of the house is its two-tier front porch with paired chamfered posts, bracketed cornices, and decorative sawnwork balustrades. The main body of the house has a center-hall plan with simple detailing. One of the most striking interior features is the closed-string stair with its heavy chamfered and molded newel and unusual sawnwork balustrade reminiscent of the front porch balustrades.
The house is beautiful, both inside and out. I even had my wedding portraits taken there. It is truly a amazing piece of history that we cherish.
What makes it even more special is that we received this ornament as a wedding gift from Scott's Aunt Jean and Uncle Don, his father's sister.
Enclosed in the beautiful red box was this note. It reads…
Thought this might be something of your past
to help you start your future.
May God bless and keep you.
Aunt Jean and Uncle Don
Aunt Jean went to be with Jesus in 2013, while we have been here in Venezuela. And although we miss her greatly, we know that one day, we will see her again. We know she is enjoying her time with Jesus because she loved him dearly.
She could never have known how special Christmas ornaments would be in our family, or maybe it is because of this ornament that the tradition was started in our home.
Either way, she gave us something tangible to remember the past while looking toward the future.
As this year ends today, and we move into 2015, we have plenty of memories of the past, both good and bad. But I think we should allow the past to spur us on toward the future and all the plans that God has in store for us there.
My prayer is this:
Jesus, please help me to use what I have learned from the past to make me a better servant for you. May I continue to grow and mature as I spend time with you in prayer, in Your Word and with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Lead me daily and guide me with your Holy Spirit. May living in Your Presence and knowing You be my first priority. Help me to see others through Your eyes and love my neighbors, the Venezuelan people, as myself! In Your precious name, Amen.
I pray that God will bless your 2015 with His richest blessings and use you for His glory!
Happy New Year!