It is time once again for the Annual Lighting of the Newton County Courthouse, Christmas Parade, and the Satsuki Garden Club Candlelight Tour of Homes. The tour will take place in the downtown Covington area on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 4 — 8 p.m. Five local homeowners will open their doors and welcome members of the community and neighboring friends.

“You cannot miss this tour!” said Connie Waller, chairperson of the 2019 tour. “All of the homes are within walking distance of one another, but our club has enlisted the help of the Downtown Trolley to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and capable of following the tour path. In addition, the Arts Association of Newton County is providing entertainment intermittently at the homes and on the trolley. What a great way to kick off the Christmas season!”

Homes on the tour include two on Floyd St., the Waites House and the Wright-King House. Lifelong Newton County resident, Dr. Meredith Farrow (Johnson) and her husband Eddie Johnson, have been lovingly renovating their home at 1167 Floyd St. since 2017 when Dr. Farrow’s family moved back to Newton County for her to practice gynecology with Dr. Cathy Larrimore.

Next door to the Johnsons, Dr. Josh King and his wife Heather found a historic jewell when they purchased the c. 1921 Wright house and began a year-long renovation in 2017. They are only the first family to live in the home after two generations of the Wright family.

“I just knew this was my house,” said Heather King. “I used to walk by or sit at my friend’s house across the street and knew that the house was meant to be mine. I have not been disappointed. During renovation, someone called to tell me that they had the original house plans. I got them and have framed them to hang in the hall. What a treasure! We have changed very little in the structure of the house and incorporated the original colors inside the home, including in the dining room.”

At 3111 Conyers St., artist Jodie Hutchens and her husband John found a wonderful c. 1948 brick cottage to meet their needs. The couple has been renovating the Tudor Revival since 2018 and has painted the brick, opened the front porch, added a swing and created an instant small-town feel.

The Bates-Terrell House at 2108 Monticello St. was built in 1904 by Covington’s first physician. Camie and Robert Meller are only the fifth owners of the home and moved there in 2010. In a 2016 renovation, hand-hewn timbers were discovered under the porch and incorporated as a mantle displayed in their newly renovated kitchen.

Although newly built in 2014, Jean Ellen Anderson’s charming Southern Cottage at 2104 Monticello St., is the perfect complement to its turn of the century neighbors. Anderson has lovingly decorated the home in the period.

In addition to these five lovely homes, the Covington First United Methodist Church Sanctuary c. 1854 will be open for touring. The current building is modeled after a French Renaissance cathedral and is the setting of many movies and television productions, including “A Man Called Peter,” In The Heat of the Night” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

The tour will round out with a display of Christmas Nativities at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 19235 Eagle Drive. In addition, live performances of the Nativity will be presented throughout the evening. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

Tour participants are also invited for refreshments at the Southern Heartland Art Galley at 1132 Washington St.

Tickets for the tour are $20 each and can be purchased from the following downtown businesses, A Bouquet By Betty, Ramsey Furniture Co. and Revolution Casual Living.

Megan Dial, owner of Revolution is also inviting those touring to drop by her store on Dec. 5 for refreshments.

Sponsors of the tour include United Bank of Covington, Newton FEderal Bank, Newton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Ginn Motors, Plain Nuts, Bread and Butter Bakery Cafe, Revolution Casual Living, City Pharmacy, Associated Printing Co., Mystic Grill and Your Pie.

For more information, go to satsukigardenclub@yahoo.comor call Ginny Davidson, Club Secretary at 678-342-6498.


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.