Lowell homes open to visitors

A view down the staircase at Gary Pitt’s house on the Lowell Weihnachten Tour shows more tour goers arriving.

Sunday, five home owners in Lowell opened up their houses, each of them more than 100 years old, for the first ever Weihnachten Tour of Homes. All of the ticket sales from the event will benefit the Lowell Community Swimming Pool.

The name “Weihnachten” is German for Christmas. Lowell actually started as a German farming community and has deep German roots.

“This tour is certainly something different for Lowell. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun” said Lowell councilman Gary Pitt, whose house was one of the stops on the tour.

Pitt said that every penny from Sunday’s event will go towards the Lowell swimming pool.

His beautiful house was constructed in 1902 and Sunday was decorated with several Christmas trees and a Santa collection.

Tonia Lang of Marietta stated that Pitt’s house was her first stop.

“I didn’t realize that this benefits the pool. I think that’s a great idea,” she said.

Lowell Mayor Steve Weber and his wife Judy also had their home on the tour.

“I think the tour is going well,” commented Weber. “There have been a lot of people. Everyone is having fun and we’re raising money for the swimming pool.”

Mayor Weber explained that it costs a lot each year to get the pool open with the chemicals, concession stand, food and everything. It can get costly. Sunday’s Weihnachten Tour of Homes will greatly benefit the pool.

“I love this. We decorate the same every year,” admitted Judy Weber. “It’s easy to open up the house and have everyone stop by and it helps get money for the pool. We’re pleased with the turnout.”

While exiting the Weber home, Kathy Huck of Beverly and her mother-in-law, Peggy Huck, of Lowell, commented that the tour was awesome, the response overwhelming, more than what they expected.

Nancy and Rick Schultheis were happy to welcome people to their 115-year-old home.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s for our community pool and they struggle with funds for it. This will benefit them,” said Nancy. “Our kids like to go to the pool and we enjoy it, too. We’re glad to help.”

“The tour is fabulous,” expressed Ellie LaFollett of Marietta who just went through the Schultheis house. “I had no idea these houses were the way they are. They’re beautiful.”

LaFollett said that supporting the Lowell pool is great, saying that it is a much used pool in the summer.

The Skinner House on the tour was constructed in the late 1800s and have renovated the home, expanded the kitchen and enhanced the ceiling.

“I wasn’t expecting this many people today,” admitted Judy Skinner. “Everyone seems to be enjoying it. The weather has been beautiful. This great turnout is really going to help the pool.”

On Buell Island, Chris and Sharon Bagley opened up their house for the tour as well. Chris greeted everyone on their porch dressed as Santa. “I think the tour has been a tremendous success,” he said. “This was a good idea and it has turned out to be a perfect day for it.”

Chris’ wife Sharon was an interior designer for 25 years before moving to the Lowell area and after purchasing their home have been restoring it for almost three years.

“It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed it,” shared Sharon. “Being new to the area, I wasn’t sure how this tour would turn out, but the response has been overwhelming.”