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Marshall Historic Home Tour is this weekend

The lineup is set for the sixth annual Marshall Historic Home Tour Sept. 7-8.

The tour began in 1964 and has grown into the longest-running home tour in the Midwest. The Marshall Historical Society uses proceeds to maintain and enhance its three museums and support community efforts to preserve, protect and promote the city’s historic heritage. 

The Historic Home Tour has its roots in kitchen tours started by a church women’s group in 1957.

The event will feature six private homes representing five decades and four architectural styles.  

The tour also includes six local museums, the city’s hydroelectric plant, the Bogar Theatre and Trinity Episcopal Church.

Tour hours are  a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.  

The Honolulu House Museum, 107 N. Kalamazoo Ave., again will be the focal point for activities.

Two of the private residences haven’t been on the tour since the early 1990s. They are the 1868 Gothic Revival home of Craig and Debbie arrel on North Kalamazoo Avenue and the 1880 Queen Anne home of Matt and Kayla Thompson on South Marshall Street.

Visitors also can see the progress made in the restoration of Marshall’s only octagon-style house on South Eagle Street. The home, built in 1856, is owned by Marshall Historical Society President George Whelan and his wife, Debra.  

Tour favorite Oakhill also is part of this year’s event. The 1858 Italianate home of Tom Franke on North Eagle Street is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey.

The 1870 Italianate home of Beth Rayner on Division Street hasn’t been on the tour since 2003.  

Twentieth-century architecture is shown in the 1903 Queen-Anne-style cottage of Nate Palmer on Liberty Street.

The museums on tour include the three operated by the historical society: The 1860 Honolulu House, the 1903 Marshall Historical Museum at the GAR Hall and the 1860 Capitol Hill School Museum.  

The tour also includes the 1839 Governor’s Mansion operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Marshall United States Postal Service Museum and the Walters Gasoline Museum.

The 1893 Marshall Power House on South Marshall Street proved a popular feature on the 2016 tour and is back on this year.  

The city has the country’s third-oldest municipal hydroelectric system operating under its original ownership. 

The Bogar Theatre has been at its Michigan Avenue location since 1939. During tour hours, it will present continuous showings of a 1941 Marshall Junior Chamber of Commerce movie, along with a film of the 1930 Marshall Centennial Parade.

Trinity Episcopal Church on East Mansion Street was completed in 1864.

Related home tour events include Art at the Museum, an arts and crafts fair on the Honolulu House grounds; a Civil War encampment at Capitol Hill; and a Civil War Ball in front of the Honolulu House.  Other community organizations will have activities during the tour days.

Tickets can be ordered online at marshallhometour.org or by calling 269-781-8544. Tickets are good for both our days.  Parking is free, and free shuttle buses will run to the tour sites.

Tour co-chairs Ryan and Theresa Underhill are assisted by Matt and Danielle Siebert.  

 “Ryan and I are very excited for the wide variety of historical homes we have on the tour this year,” Theresa Underhill said. “We chose Marshall for our family because we love the hospitality of the community and the amazing history of this town. We hope the tour visitors will feel the same way.”   

More information is available at marshallhistoricalsociety.org.

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