Oakdale, a grand 1880s home owned by Floyd artist Susan Icove and retired emergency physician David Lander, will open its doors to the public for the first time later this month during the 2022 House and Garden Tour.
Organized by the Floyd Center for the Arts, visitors can tour a total of five houses on Saturday, June 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Named for a dozen oak trees that once graced the property, Oakdale is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A large oak tree still thrives on site today, and the Appalachian Trail once meandered across the site.
The two-story home’s red bricks were handcrafted on site. The staircase and wall paneling are also original and were constructed from wood sourced from native walnut trees and Virginia’s now extinct wild chestnut trees.
“We moved here in 1981 after I completed my Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics,” said Susan Icove. “Although we weren’t looking for a large home, we chose Oakdale because it has an additional store building, a beautiful space that I could restore and create a studio.”
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Tour-goers can visit Icove’s Studio (originally a general store owned by Oscar Huff) along with the house, guest house and kitchen garden.
Artwork created and collected by Icove and Lander will delight visitors. Paintings by nationally known artist Tom Nakashima (a neighbor) hang in Oakdale’s dining room and other rooms.
Oscar Huff, the original owner of Oakdale, made his substantial income from this strategically located general store. It stands on Franklin Pike, about halfway between the two county towns of Floyd and Rocky Mount in Franklin County.
The shop was a great convenience to the many carriages and riders who passed by. Huff installed a patterned hipped tin roof, stained glass, bay windows, ornate moldings, and other detailing indicative of the period.
As the house has aged, Icove and Landers have worked to restore and update areas of the house and outbuildings.
“We have extensively reconstructed our porches, removed brick fireplaces to open up rooms, remodeled the kitchen and reinforced the settlement foundation. In 2000 we converted an old garage into a guest house,” says Icove. “I think visitors will find the restoration and renovation interesting.”
The artist is an expert at taking the old and making it new with useful works of art.
“I’ve spent the last 25 years making lighting from found or discarded objects,” she says.
Icove’s lamps, some of which are on display in her home and studio, are immediately recognizable for their individuality. Everyone has a theme. An Icove lamp can be quirky, adorable and even purposely hilarious. They can be purchased at Troika Contemporary Crafts in downtown Floyd.
Tickets for the Floyd County House and Garden Tour can be purchased at www.FloydArtCenter.org for $30. Admission includes a packed lunch.
Tickets are also available on-site at the Art Center, located in a former barn at 220 Parkway Lane S. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (540) 745-2784.