Garden Tour and Tea slated

PARKERSBURG – Garden lovers and those interested in historic homes will have the chance to combine their interests or sample something new when the Julia-Ann Square Historic District holds its annual Victorian Spring Home and Garden Tour and Tea on the first weekend of June.

Visitors can take self-guided tours of the historic district in downtown Parkersburg from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and June 2.

Tickets are $15 for adults with children 10 and under admitted free with an adult. Tickets will be sold 1203 Ann St. and at 1024 Ann St. A plant sale will be held at 1209 Ann St. For ticket information, call event organizer Judith Smith at 304-422-9861 or online at www.juliannsquare.org.

Several gardens will be open during the two days of tours, with some of the locations also offering a chance to tour the historic homes, Smith said. Additional activities will also be taking place at other sites in the district, including a Victorian tea and a plant sale.

The locations on this year’s tour will include: Boreman-Bragg House, 1201 Juliana St.; Bekurs Chafin House, 1035 Ann St.; Van Winkle-Herceg House, 112 13th St.; McCandlish-Leonard House, 1121 Ann St.; Bishop Peterkin-DeKlavon House, 1203 Ann St.; Ball House, 1204 Juliana St.; Burkett House, 1122 Ann St.; Dis Debar Carriage House, Franklin Alley and 12th Street; and Van Winkle-Wix House, 1209 Ann St.

To celebrate the 150th birthday of West Virginia this year, Smith said current residents of the district will portray some of the “Founding Fathers” of the state at the homes they owned or built. Dignitaries such as Gov. Arthur I. Boreman, Gov. W.E. Stephens, Sen. Peter Van Winkle and Joseph H. Dis Debar, the creator of West Virginia’s State Seal, will greet guests, she said.

Among the homes and gardens on the tour will be:

* The home at 1204 Juliana St. is making its first appearance on the district’s garden tour, with its courtyard garden featuring a herb garden and water features. The “man cave” over the garage will also be on display.

* The home at 1201 Juliana St. will also have its first floor open to visitors. The garden area is mostly a brick courtyard with one section of open soil where planting has occurred. The rest of the courtyard area features container gardening. The home was owned by West Virginia’s first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, and his niece lived there for many years. The deed featuring his signature is displayed in the entrance to the house.

* The home at 1122 Ann St. features a secluded garden.

* The home at 1121 Ann St. will feature a unique terraced English hedge garden.

* The home at 1203 Ann St. will host “The Tea on the Lawn.” The first resident of the home was Bishop George Peterkin, the first Episcopal bishop of West Virginia, from 1878 until his death in 1917. In the late 1950s, its owners converted the home into five apartments and the DeKlavons have restored it to a single-family dwelling.

All proceeds will benefit the Julia-Ann Square Historic District improvement projects, which have included lightposts, arches, benches and sidewalk improvements over the years.

Julia-Ann Square is a community of approximately 125 homes, primarily built mid-1800s through 1900-1915. The entire district has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.

It features various architecture styles, including late Victorian, colonial revival and many examples of Queen Anne architecture.