Weatherford Democrat

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December 17, 2013

A tour of history

32nd Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes

By BRIAN SMITH

Millie Tillibend saw it simply as a reason to get out of the house, but it proved to be much more.

Tillibend, of Benbrook, wasn’t planning on attending the 32nd Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes Saturday. After having been cooped up for more than a week following a recent ice storm, she took the advice of her friend, Joanne Phillips, and decided to make the trek.

Tillibend was glad she did.

“There’s a lot of history to the area and I’m just 20 minutes away from y’all,” Tillibend said. “Everyone on this tour has been very knowledgeable about what they’re presenting. I’m glad I came.”

Phillips says this was her “at least 15th tour” and she wouldn’t have missed it.

“I’ve lived here for almost 30 years and I find something new every year,” Phillips said. “Millie over there can’t stop talking about the homes we’ve been at. A lot of Fort Worth people don’t know what we have here and it’s such a shame. Weatherford is such a great place.”

Eight homes and businesses made up the tour, sponsored by the Parker County Heritage Society. Proceeds from the event will go toward community preservation projects.

Tillibend was on her third home of the afternoon Saturday, the Altfather House on W. Spring Street. Homeowner Abby Lowe Altfather gave the tour at the residence. The home was built in 1892 by Jasper Haney but was the home of H.E. Altfather. The house was restored in 2001.

Many of the furnishings have been passed on from owner to owner for the last 100 years, according to a guide. 

Several of the home tours are given by volunteer docents, including Elysia Martin, who opened the tour of the Brevard residence on Alamo Street. To heighten the experience, Martin dressed up in period-specific costume.

“I’m such a history buff, so I figured this would make it even more special for everyone,” Martin said.

None of the homes had ever been on the tour before, except the Lewis home on South Main Street, which was last on the tour in 1996.

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