Gingerbread Tour of Homes set for June 7-8
By 05/29/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - The 35th Annual Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes will take visitors back 100 years for a living history lesson on the weekend of June 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event features a tour of four private homes and a commercial building, an arts and crafts fair, and antique market.
The commercial building featured this year is the Odd Fellows Building located at 2081/2 S. Rogers St.
'The Odd Fellows Building has always been kind of the secretive meeting place for the members of the Odd Fellows Lodge,' Rainey Hicks said.
'It has been rarely seen on the inside by the general public and this is the first time for it to be on the tour.'
Some of the houses featured on the tour are of different architectural styles including Queen Anne Victorian, Gothic Revival, Bungalow, Romanesque, and Greek Revival.
'All of the houses featured on the tour are historic homes,' Hicks said. 'One of the houses is owned by a woman who has lived there nearly her entire life.'
Neil Blankenbec-kler's house was built in 1935 during the Great Depression. Her father hired architects and contractors to have the house built.
According to Blan-kenbeckler, people were also in need of work during that time and her father helped some of them out.
'My father moved to Waxahachie in 1926 and started Carlisle Chevrolet,' Blanken-beckler said.
Blankenbeckler lived in the house three years before going to college and then moved back into the house in 1955. Her and her husband held their marriage reception in the house after their wedding in 1947.
According to Mrs. Blankenbeckler, many guests have been entertained in her house and in her garden.
'The house has been well maintained, eliminating the need for restoration,' Blanken-beckler said. 'George W. Bush was here at a garden party just before announcing his bid for governor of Texas. He actually announced he was going to run for governor here.'
Blankenbeckler raised two kids in her house, one boy and one girl. The house has a beautiful garden and tennis courts out in the back yard and this is the first time for it to be on the tour.
According to the Gingerbread Trails brochure, some of the homes featured on the tour give visitors the inside scoop on restoration triumphs and local ghost lore.
Also featured in the tour is the Arts and Crafts Fair on the century-old Chautauqua Campgrounds in Getzendaner Park. Colorful crafts and artwork from across the state will be featured under the shade of the tall oak and pecan trees.
The Arts and Crafts Fair will include over 130 artists presenting creative gift ideas. Included in this fair will be fun children's activities, so children are welcome.
A new dimension to the Trail is the Chautauqua Antique Market. The antique market will be in the historic Chautauqua Auditorium with dealers from Texas and surrounding states offering antiques for every taste.
For ticket information call 1-888-428-7245. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the homes the weekend of the tour.