Holiday Tour of Homes

Crestwood Holiday Tour
showcases unique structures

Kincer home has unique southern colonial style

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (November 2005) – The eclectic furnishings of Jim and Joyce Kincer’s Pewee Valley home mix with family heirlooms to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Their southern colonial home features a custom built look plus all the comforts of home.

Kincer home

Photo by Helen McKinney

The Kincer home illustrates
a southern Colonial style.

“The most unique feature is the property itself,” said Joyce Kincer. The Georgian colonial home sits on eight acres, half of which is wooded. “The design was based on a plantation home we had seen in Arkansas,” said Kincer.
Marlesgate Plantation is the antebellum home southeast of Little Rock that the Kincers’ had fallen in love with while visiting friends. Part of the design for the Kincer’s home developed from the foyer of Marlesgate. The Kincers incorporated a custom built ten-foot wide staircase in their home’s large entry foyer.
Built in 1990, the Kincer’s home has large rooms with 10-foot to 20-foot ceilings. Custom millwork can be found throughout the six bedroom, five bathroom, 10,000 square-foot home. Kincer’s brothers, who own the Blacketer Co., did most of the work.
The Kincer home is one of three featured structures on the annual Holiday Home Tour and Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18, and sponsored by the Crestwood Civic Club. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. There will be two seatings for lunch at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“There is a lot of character in an old antebellum home,” said Kincer. When the Kincers bought the property at 8300 Huston Lane from Ruth Asher, it still contained the original cottage house, which they have restored. Their home is furnished with family heirlooms and antiques they have collected throughout the years. “It’s pretty traditional,” said Kincer.
Jim Kincer, originally from Letcher County, Ky., is a former mayor of Pewee Valley and founder of the local branch of IKON Office Systems. His longtime hobby is collecting vintage cars. Joyce, born and raised in Springfield, Ky., said she “likes the look of old homes.”
Also featured is the St. James Episcopal Church, located at 401 La Grange Rd. The building has the appearance of a 12th century country church and was completed in 1869 at a cost of $4,000. The process began with sketches by Kentucky Bishop Benjamin Bosworth Smith while on a trip to England. Well-known ecclesiastical architect and builder William Henry Redin also contributed to its existence.
Redin, a Louisvillian, used native Pewee Valley limestone to aid in the churches Rural Gothic Revival style. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s.
A rectory was built in 1908 and 15 acres of the original 20 were sold to provide construction funds. Through burgoo suppers, socials and a play, the Women’s Guild in 1924 helped buy an organ for St. James.
The third home on the tour is Tanglewood, located on 15 acres adjacent to St. James Episcopal Church. This property was purchased from the church in 1868 for the purpose of constructing a Swiss style, 10-room home with a basement and coupelo. Like the church, the home is also on the historic register.
Helena Grimes and her husband, David Gleason, own Tanglewood. Gleason moved into the home at age 5 and grew up there. After his mother passed away, he moved back into the 3,000-square-foot home with his wife.
Originally built as a spec house in 1869, the style of the home is Swiss, said Grimes. The style is now referred to as Italianate.
At one point in its history, author Annie Fellows Johnston immortalized Tanglewood in the”Little Colonial” series. Mary Ware was one of the Pewee Valley residents characterized in Johnston’s books. Ware was proposed to on the original farm, said Grimes.
Grimes even believes that the property was used as a park at a time that predated the house. Johnston wrote in one of her books about the lilies of the valley growing near Tanglewood, and lilies did actually grow in the front yard. A city pump was also located at the front of the property.
Grimes and Gleason moved into the home a year ago. They spent 18 months renovating the home because it had settled over time and needed some repairs. Grimes loves the home because of “the history it has,” she said. It’s located in the small town of Pewee Valley but yet in close proximity to Louisville.
Over time, the home has been used for different things, said Grimes. It began as a home, was used as a duplex for several elderly ladies in the community, and as a doctor’s office. During Prohibition years, the occupant made whiskey in the upstairs bathtub, which is still in the home, said Grimes. She was told that he rolled kegs down the stairs, taking the spindles out and replacing them after he had gotten the kegs downstairs.
Tanglewood’s parlor is furnished with furniture that belonged to Grimes’ and Gleason’s grandmothers. The home contains a modern kitchen. The original flooring and light fixtures exist with the locks and hinges having been refinished on the doors.
One unique point is the cupola. In New England homes with this feature, it is said that sailor’s wives watched the air for signs from the cupola, she said. In this home, Grimes was told occupants used them to watch for Indians.
The exterior gingerbread detailing has been repaired and copies made to use on the deck and other parts of the house, said Grimes. “It is a mix of old and new things,” she said.

• To purchase tickets for the home tour and luncheon, contact Ann Murner at (502) 241-5971. Tickets are also available at the door.

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