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Mason County Republican Women 2009 Home Tour
Wednesday, April 8, 2009 • Posted April 8, 2009

The sesquicentennial year may be ended, however all the gems of Mason’s rich history have not yet been revealed. Several offerings in the 2009 MCRW’s Home Tour continue the quest for homes with the grace and beauty of the past brought into the comfort and convenience of the 21st century.

Since variety adds spice to life as well as to a home tour, a healthy dose of variety is offered on the Tour with two attractive homes built within the last decade.

Slated to begin at 10 o’clock on April 18th and continue until 5 o’clock, the Mason County Republican Women’s annual Home Tour is the scholarship fundraiser with the proceeds given at graduation to a deserving Mason County senior.

Tickets are only $10 a person and can be purchased April 18th at any home on the Tour. A map with directions and a brief description of each home will accompany the purchased ticket. Next week the businesses with advance tickets available will be listed.

Each of the homes covered in the week’s article are located off of Highway 87 N.

A home built in the early 1900’s shortly after the Kruse family moved into the area from Koocksville now serves as Henry Hohn’s hunting cabin in Kruse Road. Henry said he literally patched the house back together after it had been used as a barn for years.

Acquired a decade or more ago from Kruse relatives, he hauled away much debris before he began to restore the dilapidated structure. Now the rooms’ walls are covered with pictures and artifacts, and is a quaint reminder of the past and what can be done with a determined will. The American flag flies in the picket fence yard.

At 8346 Highway 87N was an old Sell family home built around 1885. It had been built from stones quarried from Mason Mountain. Cattle drives came through the area probably due to the springs close by. Currently owned by T.J. and Betty Chapman, who restored and expanded the home, it now serves as a family gathering place.

Mrs. Chapman, whose great-grandfather built the home, relates that in the restoration stones were again gathered in the Mason Mountain area and were matches to the original. Also when a tank was built additional springs were discovered.

The restoration, addition, and the landscaping which includes a pond are truly a work of art. Great-grandfather’s choice of location for his home continues to bless his family.

When Paul and Judy Branch asked their architect to design a home to capture the view and the breezes, their desires became reality in their new home atop a hill in scenic northwest Mason County. Approximately eleven miles from Mason off Highway 87N, the “Rancho ‘not so’ Grande” address is 1511 Sandy Lane.

The complex started with a “cabin” which was used as a weekend retreat for the Fort Worth couple before they became Masonites. Built with utility in mind, it is light and airy partly because of a star-shaped window in the staircase landing.

The bunkhouse was the next addition built to accommodate those family members and friends who enjoyed the hospitality of the Branches. An outdoor kitchen and pool made this an ideal place to entertain.

Finally, the crowning touch is the three-year-old Branch home which includes a Great Room with a practical and attractive kitchen at one end and a German style fireplace at the other with an ample living area in between. The Douglas fir rafter ceiling adds to this Great Room’s Hill Country Lodge style.

Tastefully decorated throughout, the Branch complex is connected by large porches inviting all to rest in the peace and beauty of the landscape.

MCRW invite each of you to enjoy this 2009 Home Tour on Saturday, April 18th.

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