Floyd House and Garden Tour will feature five unique homes | Community

Staff report

Oakdale, a grand 1880s home by Floyd artist Susan Icove and retired emergency physician David Lander, will open to the public for the first time during the 2022 House and Garden Tour later this month- this.

Hosted by the Floyd Center for the Arts, visitors can tour a total of five homes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 25.

Oakdale was named for a dozen oak trees that once adorned the property, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A large oak tree is still thriving on site today, and the Appalachian Trail once meandered through the grounds.

The red bricks of the two-story house were handmade on site. The staircase and woodwork are also original, constructed with wood from local walnut trees and wild Virginia chestnut trees, now extinct.

“We moved here in 1981 after completing my Masters in Fine Arts in Ceramics,” said Susan Icove. “While we weren’t looking for a big house, we chose Oakdale because it has an additional store building, a nice space that I could restore, creating a studio.”

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Visitors will be able to tour Icove’s studio (originally a general store owned by Oscar Huff), as well as the home, guest house, and vegetable garden.

The works of art created and collected by Icove and Lander will delight visitors. Paintings by nationally renowned artist Tom Nakashima (a neighbor) hang in the Oakdale Dining Hall and other spaces.

Oscar Huff, Oakdale’s first owner, derived his considerable income from this strategically located general store. It stands on Franklin Pike, midway between the two county seats of Floyd and Rocky Mount in Franklin County.

The store was a major convenience for the many passing cars and riders. Huff installed a patterned tin hipped roof, stained glass windows, bay windows, ornate trim, and other detail work indicative of the era.

As the house has aged, Icove and Landers have worked to restore parts of the house and outbuildings, as well as bringing them up to current standards.

“We have extensively rebuilt our porches, taken down brick chimneys to open up rooms, remodeled the kitchen and shored up settling foundations. In 2000, we transformed an old garage into a guest house,” explains Icove. “I think visitors will find the restoration and renovations interesting.”

The artist is an expert at taking what is old and making it new with utilitarian artwork.

“I’ve spent the last 25 years making lighting out of found and discarded objects,” she says.

Icove’s lamps, some of which will be on display in his home and studio, are instantly recognizable for their whimsy. Each has a theme. An Icove lamp can be quirky, delightful, and even intentionally hilarious. They can be purchased at Troika Contemporary Crafts in downtown Floyd.

Tickets for the Floyd County Home and Garden Tour can be purchased at www.FloydArtCenter.org for $30. Admission includes a box lunch.

Tickets are also available onsite at the Art Center located in a converted barn at 220 Parkway Lane S. Tickets can also be purchased by phone at (540) 745-2784.

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