PARKERSBURG - Although the weather outside was frightful, the 46th annual Holly Trail Tour of Homes was quite delightful to those who came out to see the sights of the season.
As the weekend saw cold temperatures and significant snowfall, people still came out Sunday for the annual home tour.
"The weather has slowed things down (Sunday)," said Patty Miser, president of the GFWC Parkersburg Woman's Club. "We knew that was going to happen, but everything was planned and decorated so we had to go on."
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Hilda Wass, left, past president of the GFWC Parkersburg Woman’s Club, and Patty Miser, President of the GFWC Parkersburg Woman’s Club, look over a reception table set up at the GFWC Parkersburg Woman’s Club building on Ninth Street during the annual Holly Trail Tour of Homes on Sunday.
In checking with a number of stops along the tour, Miser said they have seen a steady flow of people throughout the afternoon.
"People went out of their way to decorate this year," Miser said. "There are gorgeous decorations.
"We hope this helps get everyone into the Christmas spirit."
Many people go on the tours to see how people decorate and get ideas for their own homes, she said.
"People are looking for ideas for things they can do in their own homes."
The homes on this year's Holly Trail included: Dustin Hughes, 3106 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg; Judy Groff, 2001 35th St., Parkersburg; Randy Durst, 1201 Smithfield St., Parkersburg; Mary McDonough Riccobene, 378 Ridge Road, Parkersburg; and Scott and Robin Edman, 161 Rockland Drive, Williamstown.
The tour also included stops at Fellowship Baptist Church, 3300 Rosemar Road, Parkersburg, and the Parkersburg Woman's Club House at 323 Ninth St., Parkersburg.
Toni Devore, of Parkersburg, has done the tour before and always finds new things to enjoy about it.
"It is always such a wonderful opportunity to see how people decorate, especially in many of the older homes," she said. "Many of them have antiques and I am an antique person.
"Just getting to see how they incorporate different antiques, and some of the Christmas decorations are even old with old sleighs and so on, it is just really neat."
The snow was not initially a concern for Devore until she "tried to go up a couple of roads."
"It melted and many of the roads were clear (as of 3 p.m.)," she said.
Hughes said he was having good crowds at his home throughout the afternoon Sunday.
"It has been going great," he said. "We have had a lot of people coming through.
"We were a little worried with the weather. Everyone seems to be having a good time."
Hughes was convinced by a relative to have his house on the tour this year.
"I have been in the house for a year and decided to do it," he said of the tour. "This way I could have the decorations up long before Christmas.
"With it being for the Woman's Club, it is for a good cause."
Over the last year, Hughes has done a lot of painting, had a new roof put on and more. The home was originally built in the 1890s by Richard Adair, a prominent architect who designed a number of local buildings including an old Parkersburg city building and some schools.
"It was one of those houses where you could only see it in the winter time when the leaves were off the trees," Hughes said of the home which sits on the hillside above Murdoch Avenue and is accessed from 32nd Street.
He would drive by on a number of occasions, see the house and thought what a great house it was and still could be.
"I have always loved old houses," he said. "It is going to be a process to redo it, but it is going to be fun."
Donna Galloway, of Vienna, know Hughes and wanted to see his house.
"It is very nice," she said.
The home tours appeal to a lot of people, especially women.
"Everyone likes the holidays and to see how people decorate," Galloway said. "When I go home, I start thinking that I really need to work on mine more."
The GFWC Parkersburg Woman's Club organizes the annual tour as a fundraiser for a number of projects it works on throughout the year. Miser was not sure if the weather would impact collections. They would not know until the tour was completed and they had a chance to count up everything.
"This is our biggest fundraiser, so with the weather it may hurt (collections)," Miser said.
Proceeds from the annual Holly Trail tour are a major portion of the funds that the Parkersburg Woman's Club uses to support projects in the community, including sponsoring a team for American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, helping 60 students at McKinley and Jefferson Schools through the "Brown Bag" food program, helping Family Crisis Center, adopting residents at Eagle Pointe for Christmas, helping Habitat For Humanity, providing scholarships to Parkersburg High School students and other projects around the area.
"We are always busy," Miser said.