33rd annual Christmas Parlour Tour is Dec. 9

ALBANY — he 1906 American Foursquare Swan house on Sixth Avenue in Albany is one of five houses on the 33rd annual Christmas Parlour Tour of historic homes, museums, churches, a library and a school on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Tour hours are 2 to 7 p.m.

Owners Irwin and Elizabeth Fistel formerly of Burbank, Calif., bought the 3,700-square-foot home in 2006.

“We looked first to buy in Corvallis but there were too many students living close to the older homes so we looked here,” Elizabeth said. “There were only four houses in the whole neighborhood for sale at that time. Then we were talking to the people next door who urged us to buy this one and we did.”

Elizabeth said she entered the front door and knew at just that moment it was the house for them.

“I just love our house, and I feel like we are lucky to live here,” she said.

The house was built by hardware dealer Thomas Hopkins for him and his wife.

“The Cathey House (on Washington Street) was built about the same time and you can tell Mrs. Hopkins is competing with that house,” Elizabeth said. The Swan house is definitely not as grand, she said.

The Hopkins later sold their home to L.L. and Ella Swan, and the family lived in it from 1912 to the 1960s.

The house contains fir floors, plaster and wood molding on the ceilings and the original chandelier is still in the living room. A fireplace in that room was built with three granite boulders that appear to be the same type of rock used in construction of the nearby Presbyterian Church.

Other houses and buildings on the tour are an 1891 stick-style home, a Gothic Revival home built in 1868, a Craftsman bungalow built in 1909 and an upstairs loft in the old Rohrbough Furniture Store built in 1915.

Also on the tour are Whitespires Church, the United Presbyterian Church, the Albany Regional Museum, the Monteith House Museum, the Carnegie Library, Central School and the Historic Carousel and Museum.

Tickets are on sale at the Albany Visitors Association, 110 Third Ave. S.E. They are available between 1 and 6 p.m. the day of the tour. Tickets are $15; seniors and groups of 10 or more $12; and well-behaved children under 12 are admitted free with a paid adult.

The cost is $10 for members of the Monteith Historical Society.

Proceeds benefit the Monteith House Museum. The museum at 518 Second Ave. S.W. will be lit by oil lamp and firelight.

There will be a fire in the fireplace at the Carnegie Library, 302 Ferry St. S.W. It is the only time during the year the fireplace is used.

Piano and viola music will be available at the United Presbyterian Church, 330 Fifth Ave. S.W., and Father Christmas will stroll around handing out treats.

The tour is self-guided and locations can be visited in any order.

Participants can walk to the homes, drive their vehicles, go by the Chafin Farms horse-drawn wagon or take a vintage trolley.

Sybaris Restaurant will host its annual Dickens Lunch. Reservations are required. For more information contact owner Matt Bennett at 541-928-8157.

Many of the downtown restaurants will be open during the tour as well as some of the shops.

The event was started by a group of friends and neighbors who wanted to share Albany’s past through the architecture of its historic homes and buildings. Coordinating the group is Albany’s Historic Interior Home Tour Committee sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society.

The 36th annual summer tour of homes will be July 27.

For information on either tour call the AVA, 541-928-0911.


Christmas Parlour Tour

What: The 33rd annual tour of historic homes, museums, churches, a library and a school

When: 2 to 7 p.m Dec. 9

Where: Albany

COST: Tickets are $15; seniors and groups of 10 or more $12; and children under 12 are free

For more information: contact the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 or www.albanyvisitors.com.

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