The Heritage Home Association of Tuscarawas County will present the 24th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 12 to 5 p.m.
The range of tour sites stretches from town to the country with four homes in Dover, one in Sugarcreek, one between Dover and Sugarcreek, a home and an historic church in Ragersville, and one just south of Ragersville (with a Stone Creek address), all of which will be decked out for the Christmas holiday season.
In addition to the nine sites on the HHA Tour, the historic J.E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum will be open for touring on the same Sunday -- with extended hours from 12 to 7 p.m. with a special discounted price of $3. (Online tour ticket buyers will pick up their tour tickets in the Carriage House directly behind the mansion.)
Tour tickets are on sale now at the discounted advance-sale price of $12 at the Geib Funeral Centers of Dover and New Philadelphia, Pam's Posies in downtown Dover, and the First National Bank of Dennison (Dennison location only).
Advance ticket sales will be offered at Geib Dover until the close of business on Friday, Dec. 8; Geib-New Philly, Pam's Posies and FNB Dennison (main office only) will offer tickets until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets may also be ordered for the advance sale price up until 12 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Christmas Tour website.
Two historic homes — one of which bears the Heritage Home plaque of the Heritage Home Association — are included on this year’s tour.
The first is at 403 E. Third Street in Dover.
"You know there's a ghost in that house..." And so began the first of many conversations with locals prior to the Ice family moving into this triple-bricked Victorian home near downtown Dover.
The story goes that the manservant of John A. Hostetler (1845-1914), the original owner of the home, had died with unfinished work and was still haunting the house -- often cleaning up dirty dishes left out overnight.
Unfortunately, when Brian and Rachel moved in along with their three active children, the ghost apparently thought his work here was finished and moved out!
John Hostetler was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Shanesville (now called Sugarcreek). He was a Civil War veteran (Co. E, 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry), discharged after two years due to injury.
Hostetler graduated from Allegheny College and University of Michigan Law School. He began his law practice in Dover in 1873, doing work for people such as Jeremiah Reeves (Reeves Iron Co).
He also was elected mayor of Dover in 1882 and built this home in 1885. This five-bedroom home features tall ceilings, original woodwork, and solid interior and exterior brick walls.
The second stop is at 533 N. Wooster Ave. in Dover.
Trevor and Kimberly Mallernee purchased the home in May of 2001. This Victorian Era Italianate home was built in 1874, and here they reside with their two children and family dog.
Prior to their purchasing the home, the double-brick-walled two-story structure had a dual purpose. The first floor served as a doctor's office for many years to both Dr. Bennett and Dr. Dacio, while the second level served as a residential apartment.
As you might know, a restoration project often must start with demolition.
Before the Mallernees could begin their interior renovation, numerous exam room partitions had to be removed, dropped ceilings taken down, and a second floor kitchen deconstructed.
The demolition was an exciting part of the process, as it revealed the original unique floor plan, 10 1/2-foot ceilings, and other architectural details, such as a brick fireplace in the front parlor, stained and leaded glass windows, wide entryways, and an archway at the base of the stairs leading to the parlor.
In addition, removal of exterior doors and walls revealed both front and back porches, exposing the home's ornate front entryway.
Christmas is the Mallernees' favorite holiday.
A limited number of tickets are available.
The Heritage Home Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the architecturally and historically significant homes and other structures of Tuscarawas County.
For more information, visit the association’s website at http://tuschha.org.