In 2006 the committee in charge decided for the first time to have the tour during the daylight hours and to give host homes the opportunity to decorate for the fall season or for Christmas. This turned out to be a popular decision and this year the tour will again take place during the afternoon and early evening hours. Tickets for the tour are $12 and are available at the Nook 'n Cranny, Vermillion Beauty Shop, W.H. Over Museum and the Austin-Whittemore House. Maps for the tour will also be available where tickets are sold.
The Historical Society is always grateful to the families that agree to open their homes for the annual tour, and this year six home owners have indicated that they will be ready for guests on Nov. 18. The homes range from historical homes to homes which have recently enjoyed renovation to homes which are young but some day will be considered historical. The Austin-Whittemore House will be decorated for the holidays in anticipation of the Christmas gatherings and meetings which are held there each year.
Sue Christensen had recently completed the renovation of her home at 402 South University. This large, older two-story brown stucco structure is the only one like it in Vermillion. Featured in this home is a wonderful Hollywood deco room; the home is beautifully decorated throughout. Sue is also an Elvis Presley fan and is a busy author with two published books and two more in the writing.
Mary Derby at 109 Austin St. says that the two features she considers favorites in her redbrick house are the stained-glass Shakespeare window and a fireplace surround which consists of distinctive art tiles. This home was on the tour some years ago, and many will be interested in seeing it again.
Roger and Jane Kugler, 418 Mickelson Ave., will show their new home and will display their collections from many years and countries of military service. A special children's room is decorated with a Wizard of Oz theme. Roger's workshop will also be on display.
Larry and Betty Smith have graciously invited guests to their home at 619 Valley View Dr. Situated on the bluff, it has been designed for enjoyment of the view of the Missouri River Valley. The home was built in 1952 and features a cathedral ceiling and window seat.
Dorothy Blair's home, 534 Valley View Dr., is a brick home also constructed in 1952. Dorothy's home is built in a cottage style and she displays her family heritage by decorating with quilts, an antique sewing machine made into a coffee table, and her collection of teapots, which feature nursery rhyme characters. Dorothy, a librarian, has noted that her den/computer room is her favorite, probably because her family helped to create it.
Barry and Betty Hulse, 621 South Dakota Highway 50 Bypass, will have their home decorated for Christmas. The home, which recently opened as a bed and breakfast business/hobby for Barry, is located on the north side of the bypass, west of Princeton Street. The Hulse home is a yellow classical ranch-style home which was built in 1964 and features large windows and a four-season porch, which allows the outdoors to be enjoyed year-round. Hardwood floors and beautiful chandeliers complete the d�cor. The formal dining room converts to the bed and breakfast and is named the Town and Country Suite. It features a Murphy bed, which is concealed into a beautifully built custom wall.
Tour participants are invited to finish up their afternoon touring the Austin-Whittemore House and to enjoy refreshments before they finish their Holiday Tour of Homes for 2007.