GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The French Art Colony will sponsor its 23rd annual Holiday Home Tour on Friday evening, Dec. 6, giving visitors a unique opportunity to experience the Christmas season.
This will be a candlelight tour from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., one night only, featuring four homes, representing a variety of periods and styles, ranging in age from almost 200 years, to the most recent home, built in 1997, all located in downtown Gallipolis. They will be trimmed in their holiday finery, aglow with glittering lights and festive garlands. In addition to the homes, the new Vertical Church Gallipolis, opening just a year ago, will be included, along with the quaint Poppy’s Coffee, Tea and Remedies Shop, 46 Court Street, and right next door at 48 Court Street, in the former Knight’s Department Store, a Model Electric Train and Antique Toy Display, with the trains in motion.
The historic Our House Museum, at 432 First Avenue, a restored Federal style 1819 tavern, originally Henry Cushing’s Ohio River Tavern, will also be welcoming visitors. Just up the street, at 530 First Avenue, Riverby, home of the French Art Colony, will be headquarters for the tour, have tickets available and provide refreshments throughout the evening, for all who go on the tour. In the FAC Galleries, visitors can take in a painting and glass display by artist Courtney Lowery.
Two homes on the tour are located on First Avenue, overlooking the majestic Ohio River, one built in 1898 and the other in 1997. The McQuirt-Brabham home, a truly outstanding older home at 126 First Avenue, was purchased in 2015 and has been totally restored, with the owners moving in this year. Constructed in 1898, and originally occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Charles Parker, this house had subsequent owners, including the Smeltzers and the Knights, who renovated the property during the 1950’s.
The newer contemporary brick house at 613 First Avenue, is now owned by Jacqueline Kessinger, purchased in July 2015. It was built in 1997 for Dr. and Mrs. Tom Price. Located on one of the original Garden Lots, #22, overlooking the Ohio River, it is a modern six room, spacious 4,000 square foot two-story home, with three bedrooms, two full and one half bath.
To be 200 years old next year, is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lindegarde, located at 330 Third Avenue and purchased by them, also in 2015. The original brick house, built in 1820, has had a number of updates and additions, including a remodeling in 2001. It has nine rooms, including a family room, four bedrooms and three full baths. There is a detached garage and in the spacious back yard, an inground swimming pool. This home was on the tour last year and the owners enjoyed the event so much, they asked to participate again this year. Different themed Christmas trees will be throughout the house.
TJ and Kelli Pasquale’s home, at 321 Fourth Avenue, was built in 1904 by John E. Danner, well known contractor at that time. It is a two story, eight room frame dwelling and was totally remodeled in 2016, including the kitchen and bathrooms, after being owned for many years by the late John and Ann Cornett. Special features in the house are the original front door, staircase and woodwork in the front portion of the house.
Vertical Church Gallipolis is located at the corner of Second Avenue and Court Street, facing the City Park. The earliest buildings occupying this site can be traced back to the 1800s. The building now housing the church was most recently occupied by U. S. Bank, and previously, Star Bank. In 2014, Pastor Jon Mollohan and now the Worship Pastor, Dustin Dixon, were led to establish a church in Gallipolis. In 2016, with great support from family, friends and various churches, Pastor Jon and his wife Lindsay, moved to Chicago to go through a four-month church plant training session. They came back to Gallipolis in August 2017 to start Vertical Church Gallipolis. Following several core meetings, the church launched its first Sunday morning service on October 7, 2018. Today, Vertical Church Gallipolis is a vibrant community, built on discipleship.
The popular Poppy’s Coffee, Tea and Remedies Shop is truly unique. Located at 46 Court Street, it occupies a building constructed in 1884 and occupied by many and varied businesses, before Greg and Lori Hall established their shop in 2018. The owners said they were led to leave their previous jobs to share God’s love and establish a place for people to come together to talk about their Savior and relax. For the needy and homeless, they provide a Food Pantry and much more to help others in their time of need.
Next door to Poppy’s, in the former Knight’s Department Store, at 48 Court Street, is an appealing addition to the tour. It is a Model Electric Train and Antique Toy display, with the trains in motion.
This year, the tour will be Friday evening only, to avoid any interference with the many other events in downtown Gallipolis on Saturday, including the annual Christmas Parade and the Ohio Valley Symphony’s Christmas Concert.
During the tour, guests will be able to enjoy Gallipolis in Lights, an annual project of the community led “Gallipolis in Lights” Committee. It is sure to kindle the holiday spirit of everyone who sees it, with the entire City Park filled with a truly magnificent display of trees and lights, considered one of the best in Ohio. The park, which looks over the Ohio River, will be radiant with holiday lights and decorations, as the centerpiece of the Gallipolis Public Square.
Tickets for the French Art Colony’s Holiday Home Tour are $20 each. They may be purchased in advance, or the evening of the Tour at Riverby, home of the French Art Colony, 530 First Avenue. Advance reservations are recommended and may be made by calling the FAC at 740-446-3834. This year’s tour provides a great introduction to an exciting and enjoyable Christmas season.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with State tax dollars, to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Marianne Campbell of Gallipolis, Ohio is a volunteer at the French Art Colony. She wrote this on behalf of the FAC.