Home tour is Sept. 17: Five homes — historic to spectacular

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This tree house, which can entertain seven to eight adults, is on the IAHS’ 16th-annual Home Tour this year. Photo by John Drake

This tree house, which can entertain seven to eight adults, is on the IAHS’ 16th-annual Home Tour this year.
Photo by John Drake

The 16th-annual Idyllwild Home Tour is only a week away. On Saturday, Sept. 17, the opportunity to visit and walk through several old (1930s and 1940s) Idyllwild residences, and a few new and very special homes will be available.

Five extraordinary homes will open their doors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit the Idyllwild Area Historical Society. Charlotte Groty, Home Tour chairperson, said, “Nancy Killingsworth has an uncanny ability to find the homes. She walks or drives by, and approaches the owners and is able to put them at ease with opening their doors to hundreds of strangers.”

Attendance at the tour has been trending upward for several years. The 2015 tour attracted more than 650 participants, the largest number ever, according to Groty. Last year, she even received a call from a potential attendee who lived in San Francisco and was interested in visiting the town for the tour.

The 2016 tour will offer different, but still unique and special abodes. “This is a chance for people to really see Idyllwild, beyond North Circle Drive,” Groty said. “All are unique. People come and love to see vintage, and that is what Idyllwild is known for.”

Two of the five homes will be close together. Both have been with the same family for decades. The smaller, about 450 to 500 square feet, was built in the early 1930s. The larger cabin, built in 1948, is about twice that size.

The older home has incurred only one change since it was originally built. The roof has been partially replaced after a tree fell through it. The newer home still has its original stove and almost all the furniture, and the bathroom fixtures are original. The owner describes the kitchen as “a one-butt kitchen,” Groty said.

Another house or “cabin” from the late 1940s is also on the tour. But it was renovated, to add a second bedroom, in the 1950s. “Original paneling is throughout the house and the copper paneling in the kitchen, too,” she said.

A second 1930s home, but 2,000 square feet, also is on the tour. “The owners just love their home. It is their own distinct personality,” Groty said. “You just walk in, sit down and just enjoy it.”

But first, Groty visited and toured the “fabulous” tree house in back. This accommodates six to eight adults and children, too.

The fifth house was built in 2012, a three-story 4,600-square-foot log home. “It’s very large, but very open,” she stressed. “The owners live here full-time.”

The living room ceiling is 26 feet high with soaring windows and the house includes its own home theater. “Another unique feature is the kitchen microwave,” Groty mentioned. “It’s in a drawer you pull out.”

This event is IAHS’s principal fundraiser, supplying more than one-third of its annual operating budget. For more information about the tour, call 951-201-1400 or 951-808-3632.

Music will be provided at the museum during the tour, and appetizers and other refreshments also are available there, according to Groty, who has been an IAHS docent for 10 years.

Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available now at the IAHS museum on North Circle Drive or by mail. On Sept. 17, they will be available at a booth in the center of town near the Idyllwild Inn.

The original stove in a 1948 cabin, which is one of the five homes on the Idyllwild Area Historical Society 2016 Home Tour, can be seen up close on Saturday, Sept. 17. Photo by  John Drake

The original stove in a 1948 cabin, which is one of the five homes on the Idyllwild Area Historical Society 2016 Home Tour, can be seen up close on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Photo by John Drake

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