Historical chapel, beautiful homes part of Christmas Stroll event
The 2014 Salado Historical Society Christmas Tour of Homes will feature seven sites, December 5-7. The tour is comprised of a variety of uniquely decorated establishments ranging from historical to modern. The highlights of this year’s tour include a quaint historical church and Salado’s rustic log cabins.
The Christmas Tour of Homes hours are Friday, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 5, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Dec. 6, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 7. Tickets (and reservations for tickets) for the tour are available at the Salado Visitors Center at 831 North Main, phone (254) 947-8634. Tickets purchased before Thanksgiving are $12 while children 11 and under are free. After Thanksgiving the ticket price will be $15.
Home of Gene and Susan Terry
One of the stops on this year’s tour is the home of Drs. Gene and Susan Terry. The Terry home is rich in history evidenced by the many family heirlooms and artwork on display throughout their warm and welcoming residence. Among the sparkling crystal, the delicate Lenox and Spode Christmas china and the gleaming Grande Baroque silver, cherished antiques with storied pasts abound. A Profurio Salinas painting greets visitors in the front entry of the home. The painting was purchased in the 1940’s by Susan’s grandmother on the San Antonio River- a true bargain with a purchase price of $5. The painting is accompanied by a Louise Ortega Nativity, an original woodcarving by the daughter of Ben Ortega, Sr., known as the Michelangelo of Albuquerque.
The Terry Christmas tree stands in the dining room adorned with ornaments, many of which were gifts to the family. An additional “Texas-themed” tree is nestled among the vintage maps and the roll top desk (purchased from a Bastrop drugstore) with the original bus schedule intact on the desk drawer. Gene’s family has a long history in Texas, having settled Bastrop with Stephen F. Austin.
A smaller children’s tree in the upstairs portion of the home provides the backdrop for the many antique ornaments from Susan’s and Gene’s mothers; the foil ornaments were made by Gene’s mother during WWII. In addition to their Christmas décor, the Terry family also proudly displays the Purple Heart and flag belonging to Gene’s father who was killed in Italy in 1944.
The essence of the Terry family keepsakes are captured by additional Christmas treasures acquired through the years. The Snow Village featured in the living room has been a work in progress, a collection which began in 1977. Assorted Santas and a Nativity crafted by Susan’s sister complete the festive furnishings in the main room.
Opening their Salado home this holiday season, Susan and Gene Terry look forward to sharing the beauty of Christmas with the community.
Home of Dottie and Joe Oliver
The sweeping lawn and formal garden entry welcome visitors to the Oliver home. Reminiscent of a 19th century manor house, the home, located at 615 Quail Hollow, was renovated by the current owners, Joe and Dottie Oliver. It is one of the elegant Salado homes that will be open during the 2014 Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Homes December 5, 6, and 7 in association with the Village’s traditional Christmas Stroll.
The Olivers purchased the house in 2000 completely transforming the home’s dark interior and exterior. The house was brightened and updated, infused with light colors, unfettered windows and a general feeling of openness, highlighting its obvious architectural assets. With the help of the handymen found at https://windowrepairphoenix.com/sliding-glass-door-repair-phoenix/ the couple achieved their renovations with style and grace. Their home is a shining example of what happens with proper planing and foresight.
A hand-forged rail assists guests to the large leaded glass front door. The grand arched openings of the foyer lead to the great room and dining room adorned with a collection of cut glass rose bowls, sparkling with lighted votive candles. Christmas greenery provides a lush contrast to the glowing bowls.
The L-shaped great room features a 9.5 foot Christmas tree nestled in the room’s bay window. The tree is adorned with a treasure of heirloom ornaments accumulated throughout the years, reminiscent of special events and beloved people. A twenty-five piece collection of Waterford crystal ornaments, sent annually from dear friends, gleams amongst the branches of the tree.
The great room fireplace warms both the living and dining spaces. Flanking the fireplace are two large inviting wing-back chairs with crewel upholstery. The built-in shelves and cabinets display treasured family keepsakes, and add to the old-world English charm of the space.
The dining room furniture was purchased by Joe’s parents for $100 early in their marriage. The set includes table and chairs, grounded by a period rug. The Olivers’ wedding china is formally set for a grand Christmas dinner. A large gold-framed standing mirror and an early 20th century player piano complete the room.
A hall leads to two guest bedrooms. The first of the rooms is their grown daughter’s (now living elsewhere) decorated to her taste and preferences. A bathroom connects the two bedrooms, featuring a bright red ceiling and wall papered with whimsical monkeys and palm trees. The adjoining bedroom is furnished with a bed and a dresser from the late 1800’s. A golden oak buffet provides space for displaying a Santa collection.
The master bedroom boasts a grand four-poster bed, dressed in soft aqua and emerald green. The attached bath is coordinated with the bedroom, boasting two large mirrors in gold baroque frames over a two sink vanity.
The kitchen walls are covered with a soft green grass cloth. Amber, cranberry and aqua are used throughout the home, and combine beautifully in the kitchen. These rich jewel tones are reflected in the stained glass windows hanging in the breakfast nook where the table is dressed in Christmas china.
Joe’s den includes a fine old roll top desk used not only during his early career as a high school football coach in Waco, but also during his business years in a hand-tool equipment company. A large collection of his grandfather’s watches and clock, fill the desk’s cubby holes.
The walled garden located in the back yard is terraced with many plantings and trees, surrounding a shimmering pool and a large patio with seating.
This unique home offers an ambiance of a country estate of baronial style with a down-home welcome.
The Jack Husung House
Secluded within a forest of great trees and circled by native stone walls, Jack Husung’s contemporary California-style house of redwood and stone at 609 Willow Creek, is one of seven homes to be opened on the annual Tour of Homes sponsored by the Salado Historical Society.
The Husung home was featured in previous tours, much to the delight of visitors seeking to delve into the Yuletide spirit.
The essence of Christmas fills most every crevice of this, inviting home from the foyer to the dining room, to the great room centered by a towering 12 foot Christmas tree. The tall tree’s lights reflect onto the patio and the shimmer among the gleaming blue water of the pool. Elegant figures of Santa Claus in velvet, satin and faux fur are mixed among the resplendent trees in every room.
The master suite features a king-sized bed luxuriously dressed and a fireplace-centered seating area where leather chairs and ottoman create an inviting ambiance. A slender tree standing against a backdrop of tall windows opening onto the patio and pool, sparkles with its trove of Waterford crystal ornaments. A chest displays multiple Santas, trees and seasonal figurines, also of gleaming Waterford crystal.
Upstairs are two bedrooms, decorated especially for the two children. For his daughter, Maria, richly trimmed linens of shocking pink, yellow and gold on a white wrought iron bed are complemented with a tree of white adorned with a ballet theme in a mix of pink hues. Jackson, his son, enjoys traditional colors, numerous toys and a miniature Santa dressed in white tie and tails. Jackson’s Christmas décor features the addition of a Texas A&M themed Christmas tree. A cozy sitting room on this upper level displays a tree with a collection of more than 100 Radko ornaments.
The great room is warmed by a copper wood-burning chamber flued through the 25 foot stone firewall. The room’s rustic pine trees are ablaze with sparkling white lights, and Santa figures strut about the books and lamps.
French doors in the lower floor rooms lead to the pool at the back of expansive property. Stone walls, wrought iron, water features and statuary complement the overhanging trees and climbing ivy festooned with an abundance of twinkle lights.
The Farr House
The 7th owners of the Farr House George and Laura Kocian are honored to showcase their beautiful home during the 2014 Annual Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Salado Historical Society.
The house has a very long history dating back to March 2, 1875 when the land was first purchase in Belton by William G. Ludlow. The original house built by Mr. Ludlow had two front rooms, large front and back porches and a lean-to or detached kitchen when he sold it to John A. Clark on October 15, 1877. The Clarks then added the second and third rooms to the west side and the back porch was extended along that wing. On June 2, 1879 the house was sold to Dr. Rezin S. Farr.
Dr. Farr and his family lived in the house until his two surviving daughters were forced to leave the home in Belton due to declining health in 1968. As the house stood unoccupied, vandalism, time, weather and emptiness ultimately took their toll, culminating with the Farr home being condemned by the Belton Fire Marshall in 1982. Thankfully, George Kolb purchased the house in 1991 and moved it to its permanent site in Salado Texas. From 1991 to 2005, the Farr house has gone through many renovations; each renovation was meticulously performed in keeping with the original style: Greek Revival with touches of early Victorian design in both the exterior and interior of the home. The Kocians have gone to great efforts to keep the Farr Legacy going.
Entering through original iron fence, guests are welcomed to a spacious front porch that features beautifully restored and converted electric kerosene lamps, original cedar shutters and windows. Once inside the home, guests can view framed pictures of Dr. Farr and his family along with Dr. Farr’s medical license dated 1867. A narrative by Dr. Farr dated 1879 and a certificated granted to “Miss Mary Horn”, (later Mrs. Rezin Farr) from “Andrew Female College,” dated 1867, also adorn the entry foyer hall.
George and Laura Kocian have enjoyed learning about the home’s history. The couple did extensive research to make sure period-appropriate pieces were purchased when furnishing the house. For instance, to the left of the foyer is the first of 3 bedrooms. The bedroom features a high back oak panel bed with matching dresser. The drawer assembly is called “peg and scallop” which dates both pieces to circa 1860 to 1880. Also in the bedroom is one of the 3 original fireplaces, framed period pieces of the “Cries of London” and a beautifully restored Seth Thomas mantle clock circa 1880.
A bath which adjoining the bedroom features the home’s original pedestal sink and claw foot tub. The bathroom walls are covered in a vintage wall paper in colors to compliment the bedroom. The bathroom linens and toiletries are cleverly stored in an 1800’s pie safe that was purchased in 1985. It seems that even in 1985 the Kocian’s knew they were destined to own a historical home.
Across the hallway to the right is the parlor room. The room features the second original fire place and mantel. The mantel features a Seth Thomas clock with the original dial face. The Kocian’s discovered that the 15 foot ceilings in this room were dictated by the building conventions of the 1880’s: the length of the available lumber determined the height of each room. Also, the wall color of the living room and front bed room are the original colors. Laura Kocian explains, in the 1880’s, colored paint was considered a sign of wealth. The more color displayed outside and inside the home showcased a person’s wealth. The current owners are convinced that Dr. Farr orchestrated the vibrate colors he chose for his home.
The dining room behind the front parlor was, and is, a favorite of the Kocian’s when decorating. It features a beautiful Duncan Phyfe table, an exquisite Victorian étagère, and an antique curved glass curio cabinet that houses the Kocian Baccart champagne glasses and wedding china. This room also features the original mid-19th century exposed structural bars that were common to houses of that period and the third original fire place.
The doors from the dining room lead back into the hallway. Just to the end of the hallway is the breakfast nook. The nook features a Hoosier cabinet that still has the original flour bin and spice rack. Also located in the nook is a kitchen cabinet that houses the owners’ collection of “Memory Lane” dinner ware. The kitchen itself features a beautiful Elmira stove that is a replica of a wood-burning stove and oven. The recessed kitchen shelves hold crocks, an antique crate from Walter Baker & Co and an old trunk. Also on the walls of the kitchen are George’s copper cooking ware finds.
The most recent home additions are the two master suites located in the back of the house. The first master features an on-suite with period appropriate wall-paper and two Currier & Ives prints “Season of Bloom” and ‘Skating Scene –Moonlight.” The bedroom features an Edwardian high back bed covered with quilts made by Mrs. Nidya Balleza (Laura’s mother) a set of true left and right antique French side tables with marble tops and a set of Victorian parlor chairs.
Further down the hallway is the second master bedroom. The room is painted in a soft green and features a stunning antique half-tester bed flanked by a pair of true left and right French side tables. The headboard of the tester bed was carved out of a single piece of wood. Also in the bedroom is a Marstall Furniture American Oak wardrobe circa 1900. The wardrobe features the original key and mirrors.
This year’s Christmas tour of homes includes the Garrison home. Located on the perimeter of Pace Park, the Garrison home was purchased in May of 2013 from the original owners Steve and Millie Pylant. Mr. Pylant built the main home in 1996, adding a “mother-in-law house” in place of the carport in 2004. The cabinetry and the home’s stairs were both built within the housing structure and installed upon completion. The current residents added a deck overlooking the expansive lawn to accompany the charming homestead.
Beautiful wood graces both the exterior and interior of the residence. Though built in the nineties, much of the construction material dates back to decades earlier. The wood used to construct the house was reclaimed from a bed and breakfast. The rich hardwood floors and limestone fireplace are highlighted by the vaulted planked ceiling. A rustic iron chandelier complements the luster of both the floors and ceiling of the great room. Tucked above the living room is an inviting, cozy loft retreat.
The front door and mud room doors were fashioned from cypress wood. The ranch door to the master bath and the front screen door were both fabricated by local artisan Rip Van Winkle. All remaining doors throughout the home were salvaged from historic Texas buildings including a Dallas gas station. The expanse of French doors across the back of the great room provides much of the room’s natural light.
This home is the perfect setting for a Christmas celebration, enveloping visitors with a warm country welcome.
St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church
The storybook presence of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church takes its place on the 2014 Christmas tour Dec. 5-7 sponsored by the Salado Historical Society.
The beautiful courtyard and cozy interior of the church had humble beginnings, but the gleaming stained glass windows set amongst the wooden ceiling and pews lend an atmosphere of reverence and beauty, reminding visitors of the true meaning behind the celebration of the Christmas holiday. The church has experienced quite the transformation during its short history.
Tyler Fletcher was instrumental in getting the Salado church started. The church is located just behind Fletcher’s Books which also includes his private living quarters. Fletcher, who was youth director for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Belton in the mid-1990s, talked about having a chapel in Salado for the use of the E.Y.C. (Episcopal Youth Churchmen) of St. Luke’s. In the summer of 1995, he converted a storage shed behind Fletcher’s Books into a tiny chapel. Four antique pews from the original St. Luke’s church and a simple altar made up the furnishings. In 1996, The Rev. Joseph Sheldon celebrated the Ash Wednesday liturgy in the little chapel. This was the beginning of the weekly celebration of the Eucharist in quiet, contemplative services each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m..
During the spring and summer of 1998, members of St. Joseph’s met in private homes while the building was being enlarged under the direction of Tim Brown of Salado. Additional pews, and a suspended sanctuary lamp made by Lonnie Edwards of Salado were acquired with funds gathered by the congregation. Father Joe and Mildred Sheldon presented a hand-made ceramic paten to the chapel. A pair of antique French Eucharistic candle sticks were placed on permanent loan by Sandra and Lonnie Edwards. Sandra also carved the threshold stones and donated them to the chapel. A large antique plaster statue of St. Joseph was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Les Johnson of Austin. A statue of St. Mary, formerly in the Incarnate Word Academy in San Antonio, was given by Fletcher in memory of his grandmother, who was an alumna of that institution. On Saturday, March 20, 1999, St. Joseph’s Chapel was dedicated as a Parish Mission of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Belton.
The stained glass windows were purchased from various churches throughout Central Texas and incorporated into the chapel as though they were specifically made for it. The chapel grounds include a walking path frequently used for meditation. Despite the proximity to the busy I-35 corridor, the path provides an air of peace and tranquility. The bell tower and its surrounding foliage offer picturesque opportunities for memorable photographs.
Currently, the church is realizing a growth in its congregation. A Parish Hall, located on the adjacent property, was recently purchased and renovated to accommodate large meetings and assemblies. Renovations included extensive remodeling to a now very modern kitchen with state of the art appliances.
The Boles-Aiken and Moses Denman Cabins
Visitors enjoying the 2014 Christmas Tour of Homes can experience a virtual trip into the past when they “discover” the village’s hidden treasures, authentic 19th Century log cabins. The cabins are located behind the historic Civic Center. For a tranquil moment, before returning to the main tour, visitors can experience the quiet ambiance of the cabins on Main Street.
The Boles-Aiken cabin truly was a “hidden treasure” discovered between the walls of a house on Center Circle that was being demolished. Disassembled, its logs carefully numbered, the cabin was stored until acquired by the Salado Historical Society and rebuilt on its present location.
Believed to have been constructed before Salado’s founding, the structure is thought to have had three different “lives.” It has served as a stagecoach stop, as a post office-possibly Salado’s first-and as a school. Presently those three phases are represented with appropriate furnishings.
The Moses Denman cabin, though not original to Salado, had a justifiable place in Village history as it was the home of Salado resident Robert Denman’s great-grandfather.
Built in the 1860’s, it was discovered by Denman and moved to the site of the Barton House, A well-known historic home in which Denman and his wife, Doris, lived for many years.
When they sold the Barton House (now The Range Restaurant), the Denmans donated the cabin to the Historical Society. The building was moved without any disassembling, with the exception of the chimney, to become a neighbor to the Boles-Aiken cabin. With the chimney restored, it was furnished with primitive antiques provided by the Denmans.
Opened on previous Homes Tours and when special events are held, the cabins do not always draw the visitors their history justifies. When school children visit the cabins, they are amazed at the cabins’ size and simplicity, which shed light on the hardiness and tenacity of our ancestors, lessons needed for today’s technology saturated generation.