Weatherford Democrat

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November 27, 2012

Historic homes

31st annuel Candlelight Tour slated

WEATHERFORD — The 31st annual Candlelight Tour of Homes kicks off Saturday, Dec. 8, but the name is somewhat of a misnomer.

Although several homes fill the tour, about half of the buildings available for viewing are other types of venues. Of the 10 stops on the tour, two are churches — Prince Memorial CME Church and Millsap Methodist Church — two are tourist stops — the Doss Heritage and Culture Center and Chandor Gardens — and one is a business — the Franco-Texan Land Co. Building.

However, all offer a great look at the history of Parker County, said Parker County Heritage Society President Jonelle Bartoli.

Aside from her church, Prince Memorial CME, Bartoli said she is most excited that the Franco-Texan building is on the tour.

“It has quite a long, interesting history,” Bartoli said. “Recently refurbished by (Weatherford resident) Bob Glenn, it’s another building that has been saved and is in use today.”

That in itself describes the goal that the heritage society had when it first started the tours back in 1981. The society wanted to encourage and promote the preservation of sites and documents which record and celebrate the heritage of Parker County, according to the history of the society.

Proceeds from the tour go to a variety of community projects that promote that goal. This year, as in previous years, the money from the tour will also help with the upkeep of Old City Greenwood Cemetery, Bartoli said.

The tour is a come-and-go event from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Docents will be available at each of the locations to give those on the tour some additional information about each home or building, Bartoli said.

“You can go to as many as you want for as long as you want,” Bartoli said, noting that visitors need not see every building on the tour.

The tour has been in the planning stages for about a year as it requires the coordination of homeowner/building owner agreements and docent training, she said.

“It’s quite a task,” Bartoli said.

However, the result is that the Candlelight Tour of Homes is one of the largest tours of homes in the Metroplex.

With a variety of venues, it makes the tour even more interesting, said Bartoli, who thanked the Millsap Heritage Society for helping get the log cabins ready for the tour.

“I hope everyone comes out and spends a few hours with us,” Bartoli said. “It’ll raise your holiday spirit.”

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