Office on tour will remind you of Christmas in the old days
by BETTY COOK
Dec 02, 2012 | 1205 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mirror Photo / Betty Cook<br>
GILMER ATTORNEY JOE NEWSOM JR. will show Tour of Homes visitors the scene of an “old-fashioned Christmas” on the Twentieth Century Club Tour of Homes this coming Thursday. His office on the square will also be the site of the club’s annual bake sale.
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It’s an old-fashioned Christmas at Joe Newsom’s law office, located at 203 Tyler St. in downtown Gilmer.

The law office is part of this year’s Twentieth Century Club Tour of Homes, to be held Thursday, Dec. 6 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Newsom moved into his new office just over a year ago, after doing extensive remodeling in the building.

Built in 1911, it originally housed a bank, which failed in the late 1920s or early 1930s during the Depression years.

The building has also housed the Masonic Lodge; The Toggery, a clothing store operated by Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Kurtz; The Gazebo, operated by Jeannie Glaze Smith; and Maude and Murel’s Antiques.

As you enter the office, the double doors have been restored to their original location on the northeast corner of the building.

During the remodeling, hidden sides of the cornerstone were uncovered, and the original names are again visible.

Inside the office, a 12-foot Christmas tree stands in the front window, beautifully decorated to represent the style of the early 1900s.

A matching garland frames the top and sides of the double front doors.

To the left of the tree is the original doorway to the stairs, which was uncovered during restoration.

Several windows were also uncovered and restored to original form.

On the coffee table, red and gold mesh netting accents a Christmas carousel, which Newsom says he has had “since I was a kid.”

The high ceilings in the reception area are accented with large “chandeliers” which match the tree and garlands.

Period furnishings complement the beautifully restored building.

In his office a second tree holds 33 years of ornaments — each a gift from his grandmother, Pat Nix, at Christmas. The wall behind his desk features built-in bookcases displaying family photographs, some of his antique books, and other treasures.

The office also features a large conference room and a large kitchen.

Flooring in the building is original with the exception of one room, but new flooring in that room so closely matches the original flooring that it’s hard to tell the difference.

Renovation of the upstairs area has not been completed, but it will also be available on the tour if anyone should want to see it.

Newsome’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Newsom, Sr., along with the office staff and friends helped decorate the office.

Newsom grew up in Ore City, graduated from Ore City High School, and did undergraduate studies and earned his master’s and law degree at Baylor University.

He says he loves being back in Upshur County, and wants to do what he can to make Gilmer the beautiful town it used to be.

“Christmas was always a big time for all of us,” he said. “I was an only child, and was blessed to have wonderful parents and grandparents. Family and history are very important to me.”

The annual Twentieth Century Club bake sale will be held at the law office this year.

Also featured are the homes of Lynda Phillips at 1815 Greenway and Ken and Jeannie Smith, 1988 Cherokee Trace.

Tickets, which include a tour of all three, are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

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