WEST LIBERTY – The West Liberty Business Association is prepping for the Christmas Tour of Homes and Christmas Lights Contest planned for Saturday, December 12, from noon to 4 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased the day of for $20/person at the Liberty Township Room in the Town Hall or discounted tickets can be purchased for $15/person ahead of time at Solomon’s Garage, Civista Bank or the Town Hall office.
The tour will include three private family homes and, new this year, there will be a Christmas Lights Contest. Village residents are asked to decorate the outside of their homes by December 12. Residents and tour attendees are asked to drive around the community and upload a photo to Facebook of their favorite decorated home using the hashtag #wlchristmaslights. The home that receives the most votes will win $50 in Liberty Bucks to be spent shopping locally just in time for the holidays.
The first stop on the tour is the Jack and Angela (Ginn) Garrett home, located at 208 N. Detroit St., just two houses north of C&R Pharmacy. Angela has lived here since June 2018, all the while completing a major renovation and transformation.
Angela was first attracted to this home because of the location and the age of the home. The home was built by George Gorton in 1904. He was a jeweler who ran his business from what is now the parlor, utilizing a separate entrance. One of the homeowners’ favorite aspects of the home is the wrap-around porch and the foyer leading into the parlor, which features doorbell, woodwork, stairway, and original craftsman floors.
Angela and Jack were married in February 2020, at which point he moved in and began contributing to the renovation and décor. The homeowners enjoy collecting Civil War era relics and Victorian antiques.
The second stop on the tour is the Ron and Bobbie Gratz home, known as a Piatt family landmark and the former Pioneer House gift shop. It is located at 10107 Township Road 47, just down from Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek.
Ron and Bobbie found the home on a whim when Ron searched the internet for homes for sale in his native Logan County. They had lived in and around Columbus and Cincinnati since their marriage in 1966, but were searching for something closer to their grandchildren in Delaware County. They could hardly believe their eyes when the 1828 cabin was the first listing to pop up.
The couple love collecting antiques, primitives, baskets, and raising Welsh Springer Spaniels. The Gratzes have lived at the cabin since the weekend before Thanksgiving 2013. They’ve added an outbuilding and gardens. Bobbie collects Christmas décor.
The home is packed with many memorable features, from the Dutch doors in the master and dining (welcoming) room, the original cooking fireplace, to the small room above the master bedroom where they are told a free slave hid slaves in transit on the Underground Railroad. Ron and Bobbie’s favorite features include the sprawling back porch and the front porch. They have an old picture of figures sitting on the front porch they are told most likely are Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.
The third and final stop on the tour is the Jeff and Kelli Stoner home, located at 6845 Ludlow Road, Cable. Jeff and Kelli own the West Liberty Ice Cream Parlor.
They have lived in this home since 2003 and were first attracted to the home because of the views of the valley below. Their favorite spot is sitting on the front porch watching the sun set. Their favorite pieces within the home include antiques and Grandma Stoner’s china.
Corporate sponsors of the Dec. 12 event include Adriel, Bell Hankins Realty, Bobbi’s Bungalow, Carpet Gallery, Country Friends of Ohio LLC, Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home, Green Hills Community, Logan Lawn & Landscaping, LT’s Uniquities LLC, and Thompson Dunlap & Heydinger.
Submitted by the West Liberty Business Association.