Once again the Mason community has rallied to support the youth of our county as the MCRW prepares its 27th Spring Home Tour on April 20th. All the proceeds from this tour go toward scholarships for Mason County graduates. Tickets are $10.00 each, and can be purchased at Market Square or on April 20th at any home on the tour.
Part of this year’s tour is a “family affair” with three of our homeowners having family connections. This may sound typical of Mason County except these three homeowners are relatively new to the county.
At 404 Spring Street is the home of John and Rosemary Davis. Decades ago, Rosemary’s grandfather was a Methodist minister in Mason. She and her family visited often, and this opened the door to the Mason connection.
Having lived in Seguin and San Antonio where John was Director of the Institute of Texan Cultures, the couple decided to retire in Mason. The house they chose was a former parsonage, though not the one where her grandfather had lived. This Victorian style home, built around one hundred years ago, has high ceilings with original moldings and ceiling medallions. The wood floors and the tin ceiling in the sunroom are also original to the home.
Both John and Rosemary have their separate work stations where they continue to be involved in creative enterprises. John has authored several books and Rosemary is known for her storytelling interests. Their home reflects their active and varied talents. Even the well-appointed kitchen offers another creative outlet for Rosemary who admits that she loves to cook.
Not many blocks away at 511 El Paso is the home of Rosemary’s brother, Tom Gibbons and his wife Nanci. Tom, a retired Methodist minister, and Nanci moved to Mason in 2010. They bought the house, part of which is a hundred years old, several years before retirement. It was five years before the move into the completely renovated house was made.
Nanci will have pictures of the house before renovation so a more apt comparison can be made of the now attractive home. When the house was gutted, any usable materials were kept and incorporated into the remodel. An example of this is the kitchen countertop made of long leaf pine from the original back wall of the house.
The Gibbons added three sets of store-front doors across the front to add light to the inside, which contains the original wood floors and beaded board ceilings. Across the back of the house is a screened porch which houses plants in the winter months.
Not only is this home a testimony to what can be done to make non-descript into attractive, it points to the trend of downsizing homes occurring in many parts of the country.
Nanci’s sister, Kay Hudler also has moved from a larger home to a much smaller one. Built in 1918 or 1919, Kay’s home at 537 Westmoreland is thought to have been a Sears and Roebuck Catalogue home built by a local tinsmith. Each room has a different patterned tin ceiling.
Another feature of interest is the exterior mounted sliding “barn” doors to the closets and bath. A cornice covers the mechanism of each door.
In the remodeling, several walls and inside doors were removed and the kitchen was completely redone. Mr. Sears and Mr. Roebuck might not recognize the home now, nor would anyone who knew this home previously.
The large backyard with a covered outdoor room completes the metamorphosis of this newly created home, as charming as its owner, Kay.
Don’t miss next week’s preview article which will cover the last three diverse destinations on our upcoming tour. Mark your calendar for April 20th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and plan to attend this stimulating home tour.