This is the kitchen at the “whimsical” home on the 15th-annual Home Tour sponsored by the Idyllwild Area Historical Society. Photo by John Drake
This is the kitchen at the “whimsical” home on the 15th-annual Home Tour sponsored by the Idyllwild Area Historical Society.
Photo by John Drake

The 15th-annual Idyllwild Home Tour sponsored by the Idyllwild Area Historical Society is Saturday, Sept. 19.

Again this year, IAHS will present five unique homes on the Hill, which Charlotte Groty, the Home Tour chair, said, “… vary in age, style and setting, each open to the public for the first time. They will introduce visitors to a range of mountain lifestyles.”

The 2014 tour attracted the largest attendance yet, and Groty expects this year to be just as amazing. She has been an IAHS docent for 10 years and is well versed in the Home Tour.

The Pine Cove home is a vintage cottage with two bedrooms and one bath.

“It’s basically as it was in the 1930s, with the addition of an amazing collection of African art,” Groty said, and promised if visitors “come and sit down, the whole world will pass us by.”

One of the three Idyllwild homes belongs to a long-time Idyllwild visitor and homeowner. She began coming to town in the 1940s with her family. The current home was built in 1987. Subsequently, David Lilieholm has redesigned the interior, including the master bedroom.

“You walk in and go ‘Wow,’” Groty exclaimed, and described a master closet constructed just for a collection of vintage lingerie.

The second Idyllwild home features a Lilieholm three-dimensional gate. The house is on three levels. The living room is called “The Library” and has a huge captain’s desk.

From the guesthouse, one enters the main house to a spectacular 180-degree panoramic view. On a clear day, Catalina Island can be seen and at night, the lights of Hemet and San Jacinto paint the horizon, while Marion Mountain and San Jacinto Peak are morning scenes.

“It’s designed for comfort,” Groty stated.

The third Idyllwild home is “Rock Hill.” The property was originally bought in 1923 and two years later a lodge was built. “It was early Hollywood,” Groty said, describing the structure, which is not visible from the road. Eventually, Claremont College acquired it from the original family and then sold it a private owner in the 1980s.

The living room is grand and showcases the vaulted ceiling with a chandelier. The uniqueness is exemplified by the windows, which all open differently. “Some to the inside, some to the outside, different sizes,” Groty explained.

Lilieholm has also contributed to this home. He redesigned the front balcony and deck. The owner confirmed that Elvis Presley used it in 1961 when “Kid Galahad” was filmed in Idyllwild.

The fifth home is in Fern Valley and Groty describes it as “delightful, delightful! A whimsical home.” The owners were very conscious of their grandchildren when they furnished and planned this “castle” home, which was built as a two bedroom and one bath cottage in 1950. Now it’s a 3,000-square-foot beauty.

One bedroom is “The Dungeon” and another is called “The Tower.” A bright-red bath tub rests just a few feet from the master bed, according to Groty.

Scott Padgett did much of the redesign and construction, even winning an award for the redwood deck.

The tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Tickets are $20 and are available now at the IAHS museum on North Circle Drive or by mail. On Sept. 19, they will be available at a booth in the center of town near the Idyllwild Inn.

This event is the IAHS’s principal fund-raiser, supplying more than one-third of its annual operating budget. For more information about the tour, call 951-317-4613 or 951-201-1400.

Music will be provided at the museum during the tour, and appetizers and other refreshments also are available there, according to Groty.