Strasburg Homes All Dressed Up For Saturday’s Holiday Tour

Posted: December 13, 2013

STRASBURG — Several Strasburg families have been spending hours decking the halls in preparation for the Strasburg Holiday Heritage Homes Tour this weekend.

The event benefits the Strasburg Heritage Association and features three homes, the Mount Pleasant 1812 Bed and Breakfast and the Strasburg Presbyterian Church. This year marks the 11th tour, which has been biennial for the past few years.

The homes on tour change each time, and this year’s event includes the Hopewell House at 117 High St. Owner Alice Muellerweiss said she’s excited to share its history. Many years ago, the second floor of the house had been used as apartments.

“Even though this is our house, I view this as the community’s house,” she said. “I would love for people to see it.”

The original portion of the house was built in 1905 and served as an office for Dr. Edward Hopewell and a home for his family. A spacious, open addition was built in 2006.

Muellerweiss said she spent at least two weekends getting ready for the tour, but the decorations are similar to her typical trimmings. She and her husband, Kevin Watson, are spending their third Christmas in the house this year.

In keeping with the house’s Victorian-era beginnings, Muellerweiss opted for fresh poinsettias inside and live wreaths on the outside of the house. The original portion is decorated to look the part, with large black-and-white photos of family.

There’s no television in the spacious sitting area by the fireplace, and it’s intentional. Muellerweiss said she is always amazed at how people who had never met one another can connect so easily at holiday parties when the focus is on socializing.

“People back then just had conversation,” Muellerweiss said. “There was no TV or radio.”

One of the Heritage Association’s main goals is for the tour to give people more reasons to appreciate the area’s history and its historic residences.

“By growing the appreciation of [the homes on the tour], we hope that this means that people will place more importance on them and they will be less likely to disappear,” said Barbara Adamson, president of the organization.
“It’s great fun to see what people do with an older home, what it looks like on the outside and what you expect to see on the inside …  may be quite different.”

Craig Morris and Mike Marcheterre are also showing their property, at 262 Sharpe St. The house was on the tour in 2008. To change things up, they have decorated the ham shack and log cabin on the property.

Morris said he kept the decorations in the log cabin fairly country-themed and rustic, with many decorative birds on the tree, which won’t sport any electric lights. The décor in the ham shack is a little fancier. There will be a fire glowing there, as well as in the yard outside, so visitors can stay warm.

Decorating for Christmas has been a big tradition in Morris’ family, which he said was part of the motivation to accept a place on the tour again.

“Christmas was very important to my mother and we had at least two trees in the house growing up,” he said. “To honor her spirit, I’ve tried to continue doing the same thing.”

If the weather is decent and doesn’t keep people burrowed inside their own homes, hundreds of people are expected to visit the houses on tour. There, they will be able to browse and ask questions of owners and docents from the Heritage Association. Refreshments will be served at the Strasburg Presbyterian Church.

If You Go: The Homes Tour will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased from Peoples Drug Store, Hotel Strasburg and the Strasburg branches of First Bank and BB&T. The homes on tour are at 117 High St., 262 Sharpe St. and 295 W. Queen St. The Strasburg Presbyterian Church is at 325 S. Holliday St. and the Mount Pleasant 1812 Bed and Breakfast is at 292 Hite St.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or


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