By Bethany Ferraro
Photos by Marcy Patterson.
The Pilot Club Holiday Home Tour has been a special part of Jacksonville’s December calendar since 1985.
Scheduled the first weekend of the month, the event gives people the opportunity to slow down and enjoy time with friends while taking in a tour of local homes that uniquely showcase the beauty of the Christmas season.
Over 400 people took advantage of the crisp, beautiful day. Participants enjoyed scattered sunshine as they spent the afternoon touring this year’s outlined stops located in and around the heart of Jacksonville.
Each stop was unique not only because of the architectural and historical elements that have been carefully preserved, but also because of the décor elements that were showcased – art collections, family heirlooms, custom woodwork, and of course, the signs of Christmas everywhere.
The tour had six stops which included four homes, a condo and the old Post Office turned Jacksonville Area Museum. The home owners included Dr. Alex and Amy Hrynewych, Phronsie L. Spaulding, Mike and Kristen Dunseth, Tim and Sandy Sanders, and Dr. Susan Weller.
While some of the homes on tour were built in more recent years, others date back to the turn of the century. One of the most interesting stops was the Sanders’ home on South Diamond Street. The home was built in 1901 and originally served as a farmhouse for the Hall family. When the owner’s daughter inherited the home, she turned it into a community lending library for children. What is now used a garage, originally served as a carriage house.
The Jacksonville Area Museum was the second oldest building in the tour. Built in 1906, it served as the town’s Post Office until 1978. Now owned by Jacksonville’s Historical Society and serving as a museum, the building’s architecture came to life dressed in the beauty of the holiday season.
The final stop of the day was the Twisted Tree Event Hall. A holiday tea was served to conclude the afternoon.