Homes both historic and new, spanning more than a century of local history, will be open to the public on Saturday for the third annual Hancock County Arts Council holiday home tour.
The tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature six homes - three in Chester, two in Weirton and one in New Cumberland - and the showroom of the Homer Laughlin China Co. in Newell.
"We just wanted to bring something to the community from our arts council that would be enjoyed by everyone," said Nancy Wright, president of the Hancock County Arts Council, which sponsors the tour each year.
The Chester home of Robert and Shelly Reed will be one of the stops during the third annual Hancock County Arts Council holiday home tour Saturday. (Submitted Photo)
"Some of the homes are very old, and there's history behind a lot of them," Wright said.
The arts council started the holiday home tour three years ago as a way to raise awareness of the arts in Hancock County, Wright said, and to raise money for community projects.
This year's homes are:
* The Robert and Shelly Reed home, formerly the Tallman family home, at 350 Carolina Ave., Chester;
* The Cynthia Jackson home, formerly the McDonald-Calcott home, at 630 Louisiana Ave., Chester;
* The Joe and Jodie Juszczak home at 1310 Woodland Court, Chester;
* The Marcy Grishkevich home at 1208 Ridge Ave., New Cumberland;
* The Joseph and Maria DiBartolomeo home at 229 Vista Drive, Weirton; and
* The Robert and Lea Shirer home at 4016 Palisades Drive, Weirton.
In addition, the Homer Laughlin showroom will be part of the tour. The showroom, on the third floor of the main building, "looks almost identical to how it looked in the 1930s," said Dan Williams, Homer Laughlin marketing manager.
Tour participants will be able to see different Fiesta shapes and colors, some of them retired, as well as Homer Laughlin products not available to the public, Williams said.
The oldest home on the tour is Grishkevich home in New Cumberland, built as a Methodist parsonage in the late 1800s, Wright said.
The Reed home in Chester was built in 1904 by the Tallman family, which owned and operated the Ceramic Theater. The family was known for giving out pieces of local dinnerware upon admission on "dish night," Wright said.
The McDonald-Calcott home, now owned by Cynthia Jackson, was built by James E. McDonald, one of the founders of Chester. Before there was a city hall, town meetings were held in a ballroom on the third floor of the house, Wright said.
The Juszczak home was built in 2004 in the Georgian style and includes five bedrooms. It will be featured in the winter issue of WV Living magazine.
Wright said all the homes will be decorated for the holidays.
The tour will open with a 9 a.m. reception at the Swaney Memorial Library on Court Street in New Cumberland, where the Dickens Carolers of the Hancock County Museum will give a performance. Tickets will be available for sale for $20 at the reception.
Tickets also are available in advance at the Lynn Murray Memorial Library, 601 Railroad St., Chester, or by calling the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau at 304-797-7001.
Visitors who get their tickets stamped at all seven sites can leave them at the last location to be entered in a drawing for a $500 Fiesta gift basket.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will be divided among the Women's Club of Weirton, the Women's Club of New Cumberland, the Chester Arts Club and Homer Laughlin.