The annual visit to the Woman’s Club of Gadsden Christmas Houses has been a holiday tradition for over 50 years.
The festivities serve one purpose: funding the club’s scholarship fund and the preservation of its historic clubhouse.
The Woman’s Club building, located at 862 Chestnut Street, will be one of the residences on the tour. In 1954, the club purchased the colonial home from Colonel and Mrs. OR Hood. The home, built in 1905, is listed on the Alabama Historic Register and National Register of Historic Places, and is furnished with a number of period pieces, according to Kay Smith of the Woman’s Club.
For the visit, each room of the house will be decorated in a unique way. This year, the clubhouse will feature an angel tree, decorated with handmade angels by club members, and a tree decorated with a collectible tea cup – a nod to another club tradition, its spring tea.
Smith said the clubhouse will also feature several member collection sets, including a gingerbread collection and the Department 56 North Pole series.
The tour includes four other houses in the Gadsden region:
- Wayne and Karen Owen’s home at 620 Turrentine Avenue. The house, built in 2018, is the newest in the historic district. Wayne Owen is a retired judge and Karen Owen is the former director of United Way of Etowah County.
- Leigh Ellen Brummerhoff and her son Wilhem’s house at 505 Turrentine Ave. Brummerhoff is the Complex Director of Sales and Marketing for the Westin Birmingham and the Sheraton Birmingham. Their home was built in 1901 by pharmacist EH Cross.
- Monica Gilmer’s home at 603 Turrentine Ave. Gilmer, a financial advisor specializing in retirement plans, with her children, Meagan and Julian, purchased the house in April 2019. The Colonial Revival style house was built in 1922 by Clarence Inzer and has been entered into the register historic in 1993.
- Bob and Kathy Sisson’s house at 241 Arc 2. The house was built in 1952 and purchased by the Sissons in 1983. The couple renovated it under the direction of architect Pat Sherman. Each room includes handcrafted furniture designed and crafted by Kathy Sisson’s father, Mike Reifsnyder, as well as antiques and collectibles.
Tickets cost $ 15 at the door or $ 10 in advance. Advance tickets can be purchased from any Woman’s Club member or by contacting Martha Elrod, President of Holiday Tour of Homes, at 256-442-7405. Tickets are also available at the Floyd Law Firm, the Alabama Gift Company, and all Johnson’s Giant Food locations.
Here’s how the tour works: From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on December 5, people can start at any time at any house on the tour. Directions to each location will be printed on the tickets.
Light refreshments will be available at Woman’s Club. People walking around are asked to wear flats; heels will not be allowed in homes.
“We are delighted to be able to resume our tour this year,” said Tour Director Martha Elrod. “Visitors will certainly appreciate the variety of homes featured in this year’s event and will no doubt appreciate the unique contrasts of each participating homeowner.”