PARKERSBURG - Although the snow was falling, people still made their way to the Victorian Christmas Home Tour and Tea over the weekend in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg.
The annual tour featured four historic homes decorated for the holiday season, which could be viewed over the course of two days.
The homes on this year's tour included the Chancellor-Brown House at 904 Juliana St.; the Calvin-Wilson House at 931 Juliana St.; the Caswell-Smith House at 1024 Juliana St.; and the Waterman-Satterfield House at 901 Juliana St.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Julie Deklavon, left, tells people the history of the Waterman-Satterfield House at 901 Juliana St. on Sunday during the Victorian Christmas Home Tour in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg.
Katharine Brown, the owner of the Chancellor-Brown House, said snow fell Friday night and covered everything, but with clearer skies throughout the day Saturday, they had a lot of people come on the tour. The snow resumed falling Sunday morning.
"We had great luck Saturday with around 450 people," she said. "That is a wonderful crowd.
"On Sunday we were surprised how many have come in spite of the snow. We are pleased."
The house was built in 1878 by Brown's great-great-grandfather William Chancellor, who was responsible for building the Blennerhassett Hotel and the old Chancellor Hotel downtown. He was involved in oil refineries and local banks.
"The family has been here ever since," Brown said.
Brown decorated as her family always has, using her mother's Christmas decorations. People from around the neighborhood came and did other decorations, including the Chancellor Family Tree, a Christmas tree decorated with pictures of the family who have lived in the home over the years.
Brown said she had promised the organizers of the tour that she would have the house back on it again.
"People hoped it was going to be on the tour last year, but it was still covered with scaffolding from the exterior restoration work," she said.
With that work completed, it was decided this was the year they were going to do it. Many people had seen the progress of the work and Brown wanted to show people what had been done.
"I was happy to be able to do it," she said. "It is a joy to own this place.
"I enjoy sharing it with people."
Jeremy Bungard, a resident of the Julia-Ann Square District, was one of the guides giving visitors information about the home.
"This is the crown jewel of Parkersburg," he said. "Everyone is really proud of it."
Despite the snow, Bungard said they had a good turnout of people.
"The snow (Sunday) morning was beautiful, it added a little bit of magic," he said.
Bungard grew up on 13th Street and has lived in the Julia-Ann District for 11 years.
"I have always had an interest in this house," he said of the Chancellor home. "I have an interest in Parkersburg history.
"It is a big deal. I have always admired what (William Chancellor) did for this area. The home is just incredible. It is high Victorian. They don't build houses like this anymore."
Sandra Guthrie, of Parkersburg, was excited to see the interior of the house on Sunday.
"This is one of the premiere homes in the valley, let alone in Parkersburg," she said.
Deborah Shaffer, of Parkersburg, lives in the area and was helping out with aspects of the tour on Saturday.
"This was our day to come in and see the houses," she said Sunday.
There were concerns about the snow, but the people still came.
"It eased up and people are still coming out," Shaffer said.
At the Waterman-Satterfield House, Julie Deklavon was telling people of the history of the home, designed by Robert C. Spencer, and that it was featured in Architectural Record and House Beautiful magazines.
Deklavon said the snow might have slowed down some people, but many still came on the tour Sunday.
"There are still a lot of people who came and a lot of the regular faces," she said. "I have seen a lot of people from previous years.
"I think the snow has not stopped a lot of people which is nice."
Vickie Keller, of Parkersburg, said she goes on the tour every year.
"We love the houses down here," she said. "We just love Juliana Street and the historic district."
Proceeds from the annual tour and other activities in the district throughout the year are used for improvements to the historic district.