On Saturday, December 9 – it’s time to go home for the holidays. The first annual Holiday Historic Home Tour will open a select group of fabulously decorated historic island homes and inns for free tours from 5-8pm.
“We have 13 properties (businesses and houses that have some historic prominence) included. Most of the properties are opening the first floor of their homes for people to take a peek Saturday from 5-8pm,” said Christine Lihou.
Christine and her husband Brian were having drinks on the porch of the Scarborough Inn with innkeeper Sne Avichal when the idea was hatched.
“We want people to appreciate the old homes of Ocean City,” said Christine. “We were lucky enough to get individuals to share the grandeur of their homes that are now decorated for the holidays.”
The Lihou’s home, The Genevieve, at 615 Wesley Avenue, is a part of the tour, as is Grayce on Dollhouse Row on Wovern Place, and the Scarborough Inn at 720 Asbury Avenue.
“People will be able to tour the entirety of the Scarborough Inn,” said Sne. “The most exciting part is to see a lot of foot traffic on some of the Historic District’s most beautiful yet undiscovered streets. The houses officially on the tour are just a tip of the iceberg.”
For Christine and Brian, the undiscovered beauty of historic homes is what landed them on the island.
“We bought 615 Wesley – which started as the Geneveive up until 2000s. Then they turned it into the Cuckoo’s Nest. It had been a B and B most of its life and now it’s our primary house. We live there full time, year round,” said Christine. “We tried to put the house back to where the builder had intended. It shows how geeky we are when it comes to old homes. You have to like crooked floors, walls that aren’t plumb. You have to embrace that.”
The home tour begins at 5pm with free maps and wristbands available for pickup (for those who register in advance) at the Scarborough with light refreshments served. Innkeepers and homeowners will be on hand to answer questions and to serve guests some history.
“We’re trying to share at least three historical facts about our homes on the tour along with any changes made. Many homes will have photos displayed. We have the registry from 1902-1926. It’s amazing to see the gorgeous signatures in it. Plus, we have other artifacts on display we found during the restoration,” Christine said.
Beyond photos and artifacts, is simply the idea that these homes have seen more years than any of us alive today.
“If walls could talk, people sitting here in my home at one point were talking about the Great Depression, the Titanic sinking, the start of World War I…,” said Christine.
Please visit the Scarborough Inn for more info.