Belpre homes open doors to guests for holidays

BRETT DUNLAP Special to the Times Cherryl Watt and Jacqueline Lyons, of Belpre, look at the holiday decorations set up at the Christman Home, 310 Florence St., during the annual GFWC Belpre Woman's Club Home Tour held Sunday.

BELPRE — People came out Sunday to see how others decorated for the holidays and to get some ideas on how they might deck their own halls during the GFWC Belpre Woman’s Club Home Tour.

The annual tour featured six stops throughout the area, including a number of homes, businesses and community organizations.

The homes and businesses were decorated and people could walk through to see how people decorated their homes, what kinds of traditions they hold to and more.

“We hope people who went on the tour really enjoyed looking at other people’s decorations,” said Sandy Fuller of the Belpre Woman’s Club. “A lot of decorations were homemade.”

Many of the homes featured Christmas trees in just about every room as well as decorations outside, Fuller said.

The stops on this year’s tour included Stahl’s Christmas Shop, 40 Orchard Drive, Little Hocking; the Caldwell Home, 804 Brentwood Dr.; the Cassady Home, 824 Belrock Ave.; the Christman Home, 310 Florence St.; the Abdella Home, 420 Blennerhassett Ave.; and the Belpre Farmer’s Castle Museum and Education Center at 509 Ridge St.

Many people who came out on the tour Sunday were looking for a bit of the old Christmas Spirit as well as to see how other people decorated their homes to give themselves some ideas on what they might do at their own homes.

Darlene Gum and Bonita Lowe, of Belpre, were out on the tour Sunday afternoon. Both women were interested to see how other people decorated their homes for the holidays.

“We were looking for a little bit of everything, ideas and so on,” Gum said. “It just helps get you into the Christmas spirit.”

When looking for ideas, being able to go through people’s homes helps them understand how things were done.

“It helps when you go through these tours,” Gum said. “There is a lot of work that goes into it.

“Anyone who comes can see they have put a lot of time and effort into it.”

Lowe agreed as she got ideas and compared what she does to what some other people are doing.

“You can get some ideas and see how everybody else decorates compared to what I do,” she said. “Some of them are pretty good.

“It was a bit chilly but this was a good day to get out and do this.”

There were many people who came out on the tour. By 2:30 p.m., the Caldwell Home had over 65 visitors.

“It has been going well with a lot of people coming in,” said homeowner Christina Caldwell. “It has been pretty steady.”

Caldwell said a lot of their decorations have been passed down from generation to generation.

“We have some older things mixed with some newer things from my kids,” she said. “There are a lot of memories.”

Stockings hung up on the wall belonged to her grandparents as were other decorations. There is a train set that belonged to her husband when he was a boy and another train set that belonged to her kids.

“We have a mix of old and new,” Caldwell said. “It is a mix of memories.”

Her mother is in the Belpre Woman’s Club and she agreed to be on the tour when they needed more people.

“I decorate anyway so why not,” Caldwell she said. “I think people like to see that other people have memories, particular decorations that are special to them and see what kind of ideas they can get.

“Many people are out just enjoying the Christmas Spirit, the decorations and it is the fun of going out and seeing all the wonderful Christmas ideas and seeing the joy.”

The Christman home, at 310 Florence St., is believed to be the oldest home on the tour, having been built in the 1870s. Owners Troy and Sue Christman have been on the tour in years past. They started decorating for Christmas on Oct. 15 and finished up at the end of November.

They put up multiple Christmas trees throughout their house. One tree has over 500 ornaments.

“There have been a lot of people here,” Troy said. “We have been very pleased with the turnout.”

The couple have been in the house for seven years.

“My wife and I love decorating for Christmas,” Troy said. “We love it when people come and enjoy our decorations.”

Sue said they were busy throughout the day.

“We have had a crowd and a half today,” she said. “It was been wonderful.”

Jacqueline Lyons and Cherryl Watt, of Belpre, came on the tour Sunday to be able to see the homes. The Christman’s home was one of the homes they toured.

“We wanted to see what everyone did,” Watt said. “It was well done.”

“This home is so historic and you can see how they fixed it up,” Lyons added. “It is a beautiful home.”