GALLIPOLIS —The 2019 Holiday Tour presented by the French Art Colony delighted guests’ with an eclectic mix.
The FAC served as a ticket and hospitality center for the tour, with Director Rachael Harper and longtime supporter Marianne Campbell greeting guests and answering questions while handing out tickets and programs as guests arrived.
The beautifully decorated facility known as Riverby was the perfect setting to begin the tour. The house was built in 1855-58 by Dr. Livesay, and later home to Dr. Nedham in 1880, and Dr. Charles Holzer, Senior, in 1918. Riverby has served as the headquarters and hospitality site for the French Art Colony since 1971.
The first home on the tour was the Kessinger Home at 613 First Avenue. The brick home was built in 1997 by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Price, and purchased in 2015 by Jacqueline Kessinger. The contemporary home overlooks the Ohio River, and its design fits nicely with the older homes that surround it.
Each part of the home was elegantly decorated with traditional holiday décor.
A highlight of the home was the antique sleigh in the corner of the family room, gaining compliments from everyone who passed by.
Next was the Lindegarde Home on 330 Third Avenue. The nine room brick house was build in 1820 and has been updated in keeping with the original design.
The homeowners enjoyed participating in last year’s tour so much they asked to again be included. Each room again had a different theme, updated and expanded from the previous year.
The Lego Room was truly a masterpiece of construction: Thomas Lindegarde has put together a Lego collection that rivals a museum with unique sets that include an Apollo Rocket, Iron Man, Star Wars, and the Stature of Liberty to name just a few.
There was an Ohio State Room, Wizard of Oz, and visitors exited through the Cardinal Room.
The McQuirt-Brabham Home is set on the Ohio River, and was built in 1898. The completely restored house has most if not all of its original woodwork, built in cabinets, and fireplaces.
According to Tammi Brabham, the home was purchased in 2015 and during the next three years the structure went through a complete renovation.
Each room was decorated emphasizing the beautifully crafted interior. The living room featured a Snowman Tree, complete with a top hat for a topper. Even Santa had given a nod to the restoration, finding himself a suitable resting place in a loveseat near the fire.
The Vertical Church at 25 Court Street faces the Gallipolis City Park, and buildings occupying this site can be traced back to the 1800s, although this building is a newer structure.
Inside church members served hot chocolate, coffee and goodies to guests as live music was performed on the sanctuary stage.
The Pasquale Home at 321 Fourth Avenue was constructed in 1904 and features the home’s original staircase in the entryway. The house was remodeled in 2016, keeping its unique vintage look while incorporating modern features.
Bookshelves filled with holiday decorations could be seen from the entryway and dining room of the open floor plan. Trees in unique stands graced each room while a television in the living room played “A Christmas Story” and one in the family room featured “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The Our House Museum, the restored Federal style 1819 tavern at 432 First Avenue, was part this year’s French Art Colony Holiday Tour.
Originally Henry Cushing’s Ohio River Tavern, the facility is part of the Ohio History Connection, and locally managed by The Friends of Our House Committee.
Docents in period clothing mingled with guests, telling the tavern’s history and serving refreshments in rooms glowing with candlelight and decorated with fresh pine and fruits in the theme of a Victorian Christmas.
A model train and antique toy display was prominent in the front windows of the former Knight’s Department Store on 48 Court Street. Visitors were welcomed inside to see the trains and toys close up.
Next door at 46 Court Street sits Poppy’s Coffee, Tea & Remedies. The building housing Poppy’s was constructed in 1884.
Owners Greg and Lori Hall established the shop as a “place for people to come together to talk about their Savior and relax.”
The couple also provides a food pantry to help others in need.
At the conclusion of the tour, many participants found themselves back at City Park and strolling through Gallipolis in Lights, a fitting conclusion to the evening.
Youth worship Pastor Justin Dickson, Brittany Dickson, Annee Harmon perform during the tour.