Candlelight Tour of Homes® Nov 30,Dec. 1 & 2 and Dec. 7, 8, 9, 2017
Experience the warmth of an old-fashioned Christmas during the 35th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes during the first two weekends in December —Nov 30, Dec. 1 & 2 and Dec.7, 8,9, 2017 — in charming historic Jefferson, Texas. View lavish Victorian homes in the soft glow of candlelight. The fragrance of fresh fir trees, each glittering with tinsel, ribbon, and sparkling glass balls, wafts through rooms filled with sumptuous holiday decorations. Women in lovely hooped gowns and gentlemen in top hats and tails describe each home’s origins and finery.
The Governor’s House – 321 N. Walnut Street
This home was built in 1868 as a wedding gift to Charles A. Culberson, a gift from his Father, who lived in the house next door. Culberson later became a U. S. Senator and Governor of Texas. The family of Jesse M. DeWare, Jr., squared the L-Shaped home, bringing the detached kitchen and dining room into the north side, and maintained it through two generations. The home served as a popular B&B during the late 1900’s, and was extensively, re-leveled, renovated, re-plumbed, and rewired, mostly by the Golden’s, who also gave it the present name. With twelve foot ceilings, heart pine floors, and a beautifully remodeled kitchen, you will truly be stepping back in time. The current owners, retired artists Howard and Linda Blatch, have been living in, and restoring Historic Homes for forty six years. The family’s collection of antiques and flint glassware
The George T. Todd House – 505 N. Polk Street
George Thomas Todd’s family home was built on Polk Street in 1893. Materials used were native cypress and pine. The house is Queen Anne Victorian with a corner tower and a mansard roof. The kitchen was separated from the main house by an open stairwell. The house was originally fitted for gas lighting; electricity was added when it became available in Jefferson. It became a Recorded Texas Landmark in 1974. George T. Todd died at the Polk Street house in 1913. His story which ended in Jefferson began 74 years before when he was born in Caroline County Virginia in 1839. George’s seven children called the Polk Street house their home. He lived to see ten of his eighteen grandchildren born. Evelyn’s daughter, Julianne, the great granddaughter of George T. and Marion Todd lives in the Polk Street house now with her family.
Kennedy Manor – 217 W Layfette Street
Kennedy Manor was originally built by Adin Powell in 1860 as a single-story Greek Revival cottage. With its two porches covering the entrances facing Market and Lafayette Streets, the house much resembled the Beard House around the corner on Vale Street. In 1907, George and Fannie Dougherty bought the house and extensively renovated it into its current Neo-classical Style which included the addition of the second story to provide rooms for a boarding house operation until 1925, when the Dougherty’s daughter converted it to apartments. When she died in 1962, she left the house to Mrs. Jessie Kennedy who had been a resident and companion since 1928. In 1989, the home was restored to its current Victorian splendor. The spacious home has 14 foot high decorative ceilings, restored woodwork, original cypress wood floors and antique stained glass windows. Owners, Tommy and Tracey Engle.
Jefferson Playhouse and Ruth Lester Memorial – 209 W. Henderson Street
This is the home of The Diamond Bessie Murder Trial presented each year during the historic Pilgrimage. It was originally constructed in 1860 as a home for Robert W. Nesmith, a stage line contractor. It was sold in 1869 to the Sisters of Charity for use as a convent and school and for a short time, as a hospital. In 1875, it was sold to the town’s Jewish congregation for $2000. The adjoining structure was built for use as a synagogue, now called the Jefferson Playhouse. The original building was used as a home for the rabbi. As Jefferson’s economy declined, many of the Jewish families moved away. Their congregation declined to a point they were unable to support a full-time rabbi. The building was sold to the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club in 1963 and has been lovingly cared for by its members since it was acquired by the club.
Hours: Thursdays – 3 pm – 7 pm
Fridays and Saturdays – 5 pm – 9 pm
Tickets: Adults $20 each, Children age 10 and under $2 each, Groups of 15 – $15 each.
Get your official 35th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes® tickets here! or at The Marion County Chamber of Commerce office and online here. Get a group discount when you purchase for groups of 15 or more for $15 per ticket! For information about group sales visit the website or call 903.665.7064.