Betsey Holiday Tour of Homes

Taking a peek inside the doors of some lovely Marietta residences and businesses has been a holiday tradition for the past five years.

The annual Betsey Mills Club Holiday Tour of Homes is planned for 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and will include a large historic home, modern and unique abodes, a retirement community and a downtown business.

“It is fun to go on these tours because they’re all so different,” said Marietta resident Nancy Luthy, who has attended the event nearly every year with her husband, Jim.

“We decorate our home but we are pretty traditional and … snooping, I think snooping is a good word … there are a lot of interesting homes and people are so proud of them and of living in Marietta and (this event) is a way to share that,” she said.

This year’s stops will be at the Wilcox-Mills house, home of Marietta College president Dr. Joseph Bruno and his wife, Diane; Glenwood Retirement Community, where refreshments will also be served; the octagon-shaped and nature-oriented home of Joe and Judy Baker; H. Reitz antiques on Front Street, which will feature harp music by Barb Hintz; and the home of Randy and Linda Ward at 1680 Glendale Road.

“Our home is a patio home and it is the only one like it in the area,” said Linda Ward of the more than 3,000 square foot home she shares with husband Randy in the Glenwood extension area.

“People are really surprised by the size of it to look at it from outside, but it is an open floor plan with different levels and really works well for an event like this,” she said.

Linda and Randy were married 12 years ago on Dec. 23 and spent some time in a condo on Ohio Street before moving to Glendale Road.

“We loved it downtown but we made it through two floods and decided to move to higher ground,” Linda laughed.

Along with the uniqueness of the 7-year-old home, a big selling point for the Wards, according to Linda, was the view.

“We overlook the Zimmer farm … it is just beautiful here,” she said.

A shuttle service will be available at Glenwood to take folks to the Baker and Ward homes, where parking space is somewhat limited.

As far as decorating for the season, Linda Ward describes her taste as “eclectic.” In preparation for the possible hundreds of visitors to her home, Ward said she has enlisted the help of Aletha’s Florist.

“She will be helping to decorate the outside and enhancing the inside with what I already have,” she explained.

The task of choosing the homes and businesses to be featured on the holiday tour is left up to Betsey board members and trustees, according to Robin Boyd, who is co-chairing this event along with Molly Kincaid.

“Basically volunteers come through word of mouth and through members or trustees,” Boyd said. “But it is open to anyone in the community who wants to open their home.”

Boyd said they have had close to 300 attendees in the past. Tickets are available for $10 in advance by contacting the Betsey or $12 at any door the day of the event. The money raised goes into the Betsey Mills general fund to help with programs.