Plans are underway for the 39th Annual Christmas House Tour. The Governor Wolf Historical Society will open six private historic homes and four early buildings on Saturday, Dec. 7. The homes will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Artistic Dates and Documents,” featuring dated frakturs, early birth certificates, old family bibles, dated quilts and more. The Home News will feature one of the homes each week until tour day.
The house is an Eastlake style home built in the late 1800s. The restoration process began in 2014 upon the passing of the owner’s Grandmother, who with the owner’s Grandfather, purchased the home in 1962. The restoration began with the opening of the staircase and installing the restored railing, crafted in 1922, which had been previously installed in the Elks Lodge in downtown Allentown. There are original brass light fixtures in the house both on the second floor rooms as well as the stairway ceiling. In the parlor there are multiple details with interesting pasts. The Bradley Hubbard wall sconces, circa 1915, were previously gas and the pan chandelier is from 1910.
The foundation of the home is stacked stone. The current owner is in the process of converting the original, slate-lined cistern into a wine cellar along with an entire restoration of the kitchen. The kitchen and third floor are the only remaining rooms that need to be restored. A special restoration was the upstairs bathroom that includes the tub that was installed in a late 1930s remodel. The bathroom door is actually the original front screen door, which was restored to include frosted glass. During the restoration the original brick chimney was discovered in the bathroom. All design elements installed in the house are meant to highlight the age of the house, including the early 1900s swan curtain tie back hooks in the parlor that were once in the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
On the same day, the Annual Historic Christmas Family Day will fill the GWHS campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic craftsmen will demonstrate, the 153 Civil War Coddington Reenactors will be encamped. Taste and watch hearth cooking, spinning and weaving, iron crafts, early powder horns and flintlocks, and more. There will be arts and crafts for children. Make this a yearly family destination. There is no parking or admission fee. A free-will donation may be dropped into our preservation jars if you wish. There will also be quality crafters selling their wares and fresh greens for sale. The Daily Grind in the Schoolhouse Café will offer food to take with you on the tour, or to enjoy there.
Ticket books are available- $25 advance and $30 day of tour. Booklets will be sold at S. Seem Antiques in Bath, Miller Ace Hardware on Rt. 329, Curt’s Cyclery in Nazareth, Country Capers in Bethlehem and Bath Drugs on Rt. 512.