PARKERSBURG – More than 200 people traveled through the Julia-Ann Square Historic District on Saturday to see five historic homes decorated for the upcoming holiday season during the annual Victorian Christmas Home Tour and Tea.
“The turnout has been fantastic,” said tour guide and district member Becky Johnston. “We’ve been very busy today, which is wonderful.”
This was the first year for Terri and Leon Miller to have their home, the Gale-Miller House at 1312 Market St., on the tour.
“I have always wanted to do the tour and never thought my house was ready for it,” said Terri Miller. “This year I just decided it was time.”
The Gale-Miller House is technically outside the boundary of the historic district, but the district members chose to allow the Millers to participate because their home follows the same spirit of preserving the spirit of the home, the city of Parkersburg and the past.
“As a guest house on the tour, we feel very blessed to be part of this year’s tour,” Terri Miller said. “We don’t have an organized historical organization on Market Street, so having the Julia-Ann Square Historic District include us is wonderful.”
While the Millers decorated their home with 10 Christmas trees, the Casto-Harris House, at 1226 Juliana St., was filled with 16 Christmas trees.
Guests were greeted by the first tree in the entryway and the second in the front parlor; the small tree in the sitting room had an angel theme, there was also a “Santa’s workshop” tree.
“Each tree has its own theme,” said homeowner Kathryn Harris. “I always put them out for Christmas and this year I decided to share them.”
This was not Harris’ first time opening her home to the tour; she previously participated in the Christmas tour in 2004.
“I love Christmas, it’s my magical time of year,” she said. “I guess I’m just a big kid.”
Parkersburg residents Cherie Moore, Gwen Bush and Robin Baylous toured the five homes on this year’s tour as a girls’ day activity.
“We like to get together on Saturdays and do something fun and we thought this (tour) was something different and fun,” Baylous said.
This year’s tour also featured the Dils-Creel House at 1103 Juliana St., the Boreman-Bragg House at 1201 Juliana St. and the Governor Stevenson-DeKlavon House at 1040 Juliana St.
Saturday’s tours were escorted by guides in period costume along with a Victorian tea. The homes will be open again today for self-guided tours from 1 to 5 p.m., although there will be no tea held.
The cost for today’s program is $10. Tickets for the self-guided tours may be purchased at any of the participating homes.
Proceeds will go to improvements to the historic district.
Read more: Parkersburg News & Sentinel