Summerville Kitchen Tour serving up more history

Dr. and Mrs. James McClary’s home is a stop on the Scrumptious Summerville 2013 Kitchen Tour.

When a friend asked Susan McClary to put her home on the Scrumptious Summerville 2013 Kitchen Tour, saying “yes” was easy.

The Oct. 6 event will raise funds for Children in Crisis, a Summerville center aiding abused and neglected children.

Bob Ingram, fund development director for Children in Crisis, says the money raised will be used for therapeutic sessions. Those will help some of the 900 new cases they get each year. Identifying issues the children are dealing with and getting them in a program on the road to recovery will be a priority.

“It’s a wonderful cause, and we are totally in favor of it,” McClary says. She and her husband, Dr. James McClary, live on a circle where 14 friends and neighbors are putting their places on the tour.

At each residence, patrons will see the homes and gardens. They also will sample treats prepared on site by chefs, hear musicians perform and see arrangements by local florists.

The homes are located on the Old Pine Forest Inn property, once known as the winter White House.

“Our property was part of the yard of the inn,” McClary says. Its big camellias, azaleas and oak trees still are growing in her yard.

The inn, which opened in 1891, once was owned and managed by F.W. and George A. Wagner. It is called the winter White House because presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt used to visit it.

“We are offering a little more history than we have in the past,” Ingram says of the event, the 11th so far. “Little Monticello, at 216 Marion, the home of Thomas Salisbury, is on the tour.”

Salisbury purchased the Old Pine Forest Inn and tried to revive it after business floundered, but decided to tear it down in the late 1930s.

Members of the Salisbury family will take shifts sharing their personal experiences about growing up in Little Monticello. Salisbury built the house for his wife, Marie, who favored the design of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello in Virginia.

Helping an organization that deals with such a sensitive subject as child abuse is the right thing to do, says Marc Collins, executive chef at Circa 1886. He describes the cause as “near and dear” to his heart. “I feel like I have done a lot to help the Charleston community,” Collins said. “Now, this is my chance to give back to the place where I actually live.”

The chef will be taking part in the event for the seventh time.

“We have not figured out what we are going to make, but we have to make about 1,000 portions. It’s a great organization to help and an opportunity to see inside people’s homes and kitchens. It’s a pretty interesting concept.”

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.