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December 5, 2013

Dec. 7 Rockville home tour among holiday activities in Parke County

The Art Gallery in Rockville’s annual home tour will feature styles of architecture from the early 1800s to present. The tour will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Many renovations have been completed on the homes to adapt to modern living, but the main character of the houses remain.

All are located in Rockville. A map, which is also a ticket, gives directions. Tickets can be purchased at the Gallery on the north side of the square and are $10.

The homes

• Gary and Mary Ruth Staadt’s home was built in 1902 by John Adams. It features three stories including a carriage house, which is now part of the property. Its history includes being operated as Vandenbark Furniture Store and later being converted to apartments. In 1968, John and Marjorie Hays rescued the home. The impressive front staircase was stripped and returned to its oak finish, and the leaded glass around the front entrance windows was restored. Stained-glass windows, original light fixtures and the kitchen floor are just some of the home’s features. The Staadts have continued with the restoration since their purchase in 1986. The third floor, which now has a “’70s vibe,” was once a ballroom. The painting was done by Diane Kissick of Paper Shapers. Zimmerman Landscaping developed the landscaping.

• The home of Eric and Kim Nicholas was originally built in 1985 for Mel and Betty Willhite. Robert and Jovonnah Hogan and family lived there from the mid-1990s to 2010. The Nicholases purchased the ranch-style home and four acres in 2010. Before the family moved in, Frank & Sons Construction from Mecca completed several renovations. The indoor pool was converted into a large bonus room, French doors were added to the kitchen, and a laundry room was created. In 2012, Blane Leatherman replaced the front porch with decorative concrete and added a patio. From 2012 to present, family and friends helped replace all the landscaping and update the kitchen floor and countertops.The couple lives in the home with its three children. Their daughters’ bedroom features a collection of American Girl Dolls ready for their winter activities. The living space is decorated with country and primitive earth tones. Stacey Paddock, owner of Rustic Owl Primitives in Waveland, added Christmas decorations. The five Christmas trees include trimmings from Rockville Flower Shoppe.

• The home of Dave and Miriam Lash has many historic features and antiques. Dr. Leonard from Maryland built the home in 1826. He returned to Maryland to bring his wife and two servants back to Rockville. Shortly after, he and his wife moved to New Orleans. He sold the house, and it has since sheltered five generations. Originally an Adam’s Style Colonial Period built with a sandstone foundation and native poplar lumber, it was “modernized” in the 1870s to look Victorian. Many alterations were made in 1912 including adding a kitchen, dining room, bath room, two bedrooms and a second story. The Lashes added a carriage house built from lumber from an apartment building that was nearby. There is also a new kitchen, refinished floors and a den. In the spring and summer, the garden blooms with colorful flowers and trees. One can amble through their garden on brick pathways featuring a gold fish pond and gazebo.  

Back at the Art Gallery, on the second floor, guests are invited to enjoy Christmas decorations and refreshments. A chair lift is available to reach the second floor. The Covered Bridge Art Gallery renovated the floor of this 1877 historic building two years ago with the help of the Parke County Community Foundation and local support. It now features a full kitchen. The Gallery now offers art classes for both children and adults and cultural activities. Display area and storage is enhanced for the Gallery’s permanent collection.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except closed Tuesdays) and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 765-569-9422.

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