Courtyard & Garden Tour features two Richfield sites

Across Stanly County the arrival of spring brings an explosion of floral landscapes and the return of outdoor living.

To celebrate the beauty and history of Albemarle and Stanly County, The Stanly County Historical Society will host a benefit Courtyard & Garden Tour 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 30.

Proceeds from this rain or shine event will fund educational programs and preservation initiatives of the Stanly County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

This self-guided tour will allow access to 10 private and public courtyard and garden spaces stretching from Albemarle to Richfield that will inspire gardeners of all levels.

The tour features a variety of garden spaces including DIY landscapes, restored formal gardens and centuries old family farms.

Tour sites 9 and 10 are situated on rolling farmland that has belonged to the Lipe Family since 1870.

Site No. 8 is the home of Ed and Nancy Lipe. (Contributed)

Site 9, at 37767 Pauls Crossing Road, Richfield, is the home of Ed and Nancy Lipe.

Ed grew up on the farm helping his grandparents and their sons raise cattle and crops with the help of their WD45 tractor.

In 2002, Ed and Nancy selected the site for their new home and oriented the location of the home to best celebrate the sunsets from the rear deck and sunporch, however, building in a farm field meant there would be no standing trees other than two black walnut trees to the rear of the property. The house and pool were completed in 2005.


A hobbyist wine maker since 2008, Ed nurtures the front yard grape vines and has tried several varietals of U.S. hybrids and vinifera grapes with some success.

In 2021, he paired down the varietals to Seyval Blanc (white grapes) and Chamborcin (red/purple grapes). Features of this idyllic outdoor living space include a garden gate handcrafted from reclaimed wood from Ed’s grandfather’s shop, whimsical yard art, inground pool, pergola and artist studio.

Site 10, at 37684 Pauls Crossing Road, Richfield, is the home of Tom and Anne Lipe.

Tom and Anne are the fourth generation to reside in the family homestead built around 1870.

They embarked on a complete house restoration in 2012 and began full-time residency following their retirement in 2018.

Tom’s mother, Margaret, was an avid gardener and, along with her husband Thomas, planted a myriad of daffodils and iris on the property.

Tom and Anne have restored the century-old flower garden with a new stone border reconstructed by local stone mason, Randy Almond.

During the summer growing season, Anne enjoys tending a small raised bed kitchen garden of fragrant lavender, basil, parsley and oregano. Their screened porch allows for views of the flower garden, seasonal crops and fruit trees surrounding the homestead.

Advance $15 wristband tickets are available at the Stanly County History Center, 157 N. Second St., Albemarle, or by mail order to Stanly County Historical Society, PO Box 1384, Albemarle, NC 28002.

Pre-paid mail orders will be held at the will call station at the 1852 Isaiah Snuggs House, 112 N. Third St., Albemarle, from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wristband tickets for $20 may be purchased on the day of the tour at the Snuggs House.

All ticket sales are non-refundable donations.

Direct inquiries to or call 704-986-3777.