Weatherford Democrat

December 9, 2012

Tour of Homes

Brian Smith
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD — For Audrey Beane, the holidays don’t commence until the Candlelight Tour of Homes is complete.

“I set my holiday by this every year,” Beane, from Azle, said. “It’s always so pretty and worth the drive.”

Beane said she has been going to the annual event for the last 17 years and always goes to each point on the tour. The 31st annual event had 10 stops, including two churches, two tourist attractions and a business this year.

It’s a major event every holiday season and one of the largest tour of homes in the Metroplex. Getting everything set up, including training for the docents, takes time.

In Beane’s eyes, the time and effort put into the event shows.

“It’s one of the reasons I come,” Beane said. “The docents always know their stuff and make it very interesting.”

One of the five homes was the Fant home at 316 S. Lamar. Former Weatherford banker W.S. Fant built the home in 1890. A fire damaged the residence four years ago but a major restoration project brought the home back to life.

Attention was given to the columns on the raised front porch. The original 12-foot ceilings, wainscoring and hardwood floors were also restored.

“It’s amazing what they were able to do (after the fire),” JoAnne Gillingham of Millsap said.

Members of the Parker County Heritage Society went all out for the event, including Barbara Binion Osborn who was dressed up in a Victorian outfit fitting of the time the Fant home was first being built for Fant, his wife and their seven kids.

“I love dressing up for this,” Fant, who even made her own Victorian-style hat specifically for the event, said. “I just love the Victorian era and live for this day every year.”    

The Doss Heritage and Culture Center served as a place where weary “tour”-ists could spend time recuperating and do some Christmas shopping at the same time during the Candlelight Gift Market. A number of local art vendors were selling and displaying their wares for the holidays.

Vendor Veanna Moore was displaying her saddle art. She said sales were somewhat slow but getting the sale wasn’t what brought him to town from her native Graham.

“If I can inform and enlighten one person of what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and make them a fan, then this day has all been worth it,” Moore said.

Chandor Gardens was decorated for the event as well. Manager Karen Nantz said decorating work began the Monday after Thanksgiving and continued into Friday night.

The decorating proved popular, as many people stopped and had family portraits taken under the massive Christmas trees inside the home. Santa also made a special trip to visit with everyone, including Sandy Parker, who was trying to get her toddler, Macey, onto Santa’s lap to no avail.

“While I’m here, I might as well tell you what I want,” Parker said to Santa with a smile.

The gardens had holiday music from musicians and choral groups as part of the festivities to make the holidays a little brighter.