Annual Christmas home tour set for Sunday

-A A +A
By The Staff

The Lawrenceburg Gamma Sigma Chapter of Beta Sigma will host its 16th Christmas Home Tour on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
The homes on this year’s tour are Bill and Barbara Bryant, 527 South Main St.; Rod and Beth Swartz, 419 South Main St.; the T.B. Ripy home, 320 South Main St.; and Ron and Marlene Yung, 643 North Main St., all in Lawrenceburg.
The local chapter held its first home tour in 1995.
A tour of City Hall, which was built in the early 1900s, is also available that day. Organizers said refreshments will be provided by Mayor Edwinna Baker and “friends.”
Admission to the home tour is $5 per person and includes admission into all four homes.
Tickets can be purchased at any of the homes located on the tour.
Proceeds from previous home tours have been given to the following: Downtown Merchants Association to purchase decorations for the courthouse lawn; Anderson County Historical Society Museum to purchase equipment; given toward construction of the new senior citizens building; Anderson County Park; C.A.P.P. Program; Habitat for Humanity; renovation of the old Glensboro school; park benches at the Anderson County Park; City of Lawrenceburg to beautify downtown; Anderson County American Legion to help on the veterans Wall of Fame; Anderson County Library for bookcases and kitchen equipment; fund for the proposed Anderson County swimming pool; Anderson County Humane Society; the Anderson County Senior Citizens Center for the purchase of a wide-screen television; and scholarships for graduating Anderson County seniors.
Former hosts include Frank and Mary Ann McGrath, Judy Young, David and Katrina Oney, Jimmie and Becca Morgan, Gil and Debra Parrish, Tony and Susan Young, Truett and Cozette Hanks, Ben and Janie Stratton, Bob and Judi Fryer, Lewis and Helen Wash, Mike and Jan Rogers, Tom and Judy Bond, Bob and Jeri Chenoweth, Joe and Rosa Cook, Richard and Margaret Woodside, Gary and Sara Frances Burton, John and Diana Tuell, Paul and Linda King, John and Brenda Hume, Paul and Bonnie Barrick, Frances Speer, David and Sheryl Lawson, Johnny and Kay Cox, Billy and Jean Spencer, Bob and Mary Jane McAnly, Gerald and Terri Fraley, Gene and Becky Wilhoit, the Old Glensboro School, Connie Blackwell, Mark and Susie Prater, Wendell and Thelma Bruce, the Old Post Office/now City Hall, Linda Crawford, Jimmie and Brenda Peach, Cliff and Eunice Land, Roger and Kay Cox, Daniel and Vandra Guffey, Glenn and Mary Lee Birdwhistell, Craig and Brent Stratton, Joann Robinson, Jim and Judy Link, Melissa Wells, Scott and Dena Sutherland, Allen and Marie Hellard, Clifford and Nancy Pike, Patrick and Marcie Jeffreys, Wayne and Penney Gerding, Gary and Barbara Jessup, Bart and Meredith Lewis, Kirby and Kelly Gengler, George Geoghegan, Bert and Denise White, Allen and Carol Mobley, Ron and Jackie Wendlandt,  Kelly and Glenda Thompson, Bob and Pam Ware, Jerry and Betty Springate, Chuck and Marilyn Price, Brad and Susan Smith, Bobby and Marcia Roark, and Chris and Melissa Hanks.
For more information contact Rita Phillips at 502-839-6607 or 502-418-3011, or at kprp@roadrunner.com.


Bill and Barbara Bryant

Bill and Barbara Bryant both grew up in Anderson County and then spent a good portion of their adult years living in the greater Cincinnati area from 1971-2008.
They purchased the home in which Eunice and Corrine Catlett lived and “came home” to be near their family and friends. They welcome everyone to their home at 527 South Main St.
You will recognize the house as a two story white frame house with candles in the windows.
Barbara wishes that poet Joyce Kilmer could see how they have decorated each and every Christmas-time tree. They have a tree in nearly every room in the house, and the grandchildren keep things stirring and scurrying like a mouse.
In their baseball room, it’s America’s pasttime with decorations in bloom. Bill, a professionally trained ecologist, has a nature tree and a thistle tree. This room is filled with books, notes and various memorabilia.
Barbara, a quilter and also a crafter, has a tree in her sewing room decorated with yarn, spools of thread, and material. She admits to being an active person who has lots of interests.
Barbara’s mother, Granny Sparrow, lived with them for three years, and her indispensable purse was filled with packets of salt, butter from fast food stops, napkins and straws. Thus the article of “Where is my Purse?” The tree is decorated with her old jewelry.
The Relay for Life tree is special to Barbara and Bill because she had a bout with cancer in 1995. This tree celebrates her survival and their active involvement with the Relay in Lawrenceburg. Since the Bryant home is a depository for their kids’ and grandkids’ old and broken toys, some of these misfits and favorites adorn a tree of things that were too dear to throw away. They also have a wreath made from Old World ornaments that had broken and couldn’t be discarded.
As their family grew and aged over time, they captured these subtle changes on film with photos now on the memory tree.
Barbara has always loved to cook and she has written a couple of cookbooks, so the kitchen tree is decorated with kitchen utensils. They feed the local birds and have a tree decked with bird houses, nests, and birds — their feathered friends.
Their time spent in the greater Cincinnati area is represented by the places and friends they enjoyed, plus they added some Old World ornaments and Charlie Harper ornaments. Her brother, David, used his creativity to decorate the mantle and doorway.
Paintings of two houses in which they have lived hang on the wall and are examples of their friend, artist, Mike Gillman.

T.B. Ripy House

The T.B. Ripy home at 320 South Main St. is certain to bring back memories of past occupants and visions of what this mansion may be in the future.
Beta Sigma Phi is honored that George Geoghegan, one of the owners, agreed to show this home on the 2012 Christmas Home Tour and give the community a chance to see inside.
T.B. Ripy was born in Anderson County in 1847 and died in 1902. For many years and perhaps even now, whiskey production was the most important product of Anderson County.
T.B. Ripy and his family have perhaps made one of the most significant positive financial impacts on Anderson County and the City of Lawrenceburg. In the 1890s, T.B. Ripy was the largest independent sour mash distiller in the world.
In 1887, T.B. Ripy began the construction of his home at 320 South Main St. It is a three and a half story Queen Anne brick home with a tower and a widow’s watch. It was completed in 1888 at a cost of approximately $85,000. It has over 30 rooms and is approximately 11,000 square feet. It is on the National Register. There is probably no equal in the area for interior architectural detail.
The first floor has 16-foot ceilings. The foyer, the parlor, the dining room and the library all have elaborate ceiling moldings. The foyer and the parlor have carved shoulder height mahogany wainscoting.
The dining room has carved shoulder height walnut wainscoting. The wainscoting in the library is shoulder height cherry.
The ceilings on the second floor, third floor and fourth (1/2 floor) are 12 feet high. The elaborate stained glass windows in the foyer, the parlor and on the landing have a “planet” motif.
The basement has for the most part 12 foot ceilings as well. The basement walls are all Kentucky River limestone. You can see the remnants of the old gravity furnace.
Access may be gained to the tower via a curved stairway and a trap door at the ceiling. Access to the fourth floor may be gained by way of a ladder to the fourth floor and access to the widow’s walk may be gained by means of a ladder to the roof.  
The home could be an amazing show place. The architecture is amazing. The skill level of the builders is equally amazing.
The home lies on approximately 6 acres of land in the City of Lawrenceburg.
Mr. Geoghegan recommends that you bring a jacket for your walk through of this house as there is no heat.

Rod and Elizabeth Swartz

Rod and Elizabeth Swartz moved to Lawrenceburg from Hamilton, Ohio, in the fall of 2010 after Mr. Swartz was transferred to Frankfort with his company.
After visiting many surrounding areas, Mrs. Swartz chose Anderson County for its charming community, beautiful architecture and excellent school system.  They waited patiently for a home on South Main Street to become available for their family of five.  
March 14, 2011, they purchased their dream home at 419 South Main St. from Joel and Debra Dusick.  The home, built in 1888 by Mr. and Mrs. G.A Williams, will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year.
The home is full of old world charm. Pocket doors, wide woodwork, hard wood floors, seven fireplaces and a lovely front porch give this home the look and feel of Southern days gone by.
The Swartz family is the 11th family to occupy the home. Many will remember the Collins and Ripy families living in the home from 1925 through 1978.  In the early 1990s the home underwent major construction.
The Hoosier family completely renovated the house, and in 2000, the Dusick family added a family room and laundry room.
The Swartz family is in the process of adding their touches to the home. First on the list was changing the shutter color back to the original historic Charleston green. They replaced the mantel in the dining room with one from the same era they brought from their home in Hamilton. Updating the kitchen with granite, stainless steel and copper, color changes, bathroom updating and extensive landscaping have also been done.  
Christmas is Mrs. Swartz’s favorite time of the year.  The decorations you will see on tour represent everything she loves about the holiday — faith, family and fun.
She puts up seven trees in the house including the newest addition to the collection, “The Roll Tide Tree” filled with red, white and hounds tooth ornaments in honor of their eldest daughter Emily Katherine, a senior this year at the University of Alabama.
“The Spirits of Kentucky” tree  is filled with 50 ml bottles of all the brands Jim Beam produces, and you will even see Four Roses represented (Mrs. Swartz is a former tour guide). “The spirits industry brought us to Kentucky, so why not celebrate it,” says Mrs. Swartz.
All the decorations are family driven.
Trees are filled with ornaments made by the Swartz children, vintage ornaments from Mr. and Mrs. Swartz’s childhood, Tiffany ornaments, and ornaments given to Mrs. Swartz by her former students.

Ron and Marlene Yung

Lawrenceburg Bed & Breakfast, home of Ron and Marlene Yung, is offering a warm welcome to the community.
Located at 643 North Main St., the house was built in 1929 and has seen many families come and go through the past 80-plus years.
Ron and Marlene purchased the home in April 2012 and spent six months restoring the almost 6,000 square foot home, bringing it back to its glory.
The B&B opened Nov. 1.
Their accommodations include two extra-spacious king-size suites, private en-suite baths, flat screen HDTV in each room, free WI-FI and an additional bedroom available to those traveling with a third party. Amenities include gourmet breakfast, 24-hour coffee and snacks, wine and cheese social hour each afternoon and home-baked desserts each evening.
A classic color palette of red, green and gold weaving in and out of each room draws fond recollections of the owners.
Christmas trees decorated with baubles from their 44 years of marriage include family ornaments from childhood, gifts made by their own children and grandchildren and many memories of travels and friends.
Filled with cherished treasures among the timeless homey comforts, this home/bed & breakfast provides a refuge for family and friends to relax and rest during such a busy time of year-a home filled with good cheer and a touch of Christmas sparkle.
George Geoghegan shared some history he had of this home. The City of Lawrence was created by its trustees in 1818 from the land conveyed to them by Samuel Arbuckle and William Lawrence, Samuel’s son-in-law.
It was named for William Lawrence and officially became the City of Lawrenceburg in 1827. The original city consisted of 42 lots.  Most of the land on North Main Street was owned by the Witherspoon family.
The yellow brick bungalow style house on North Main Street was built by Henrietta Witherspoon, born in 1883 to Lewis Johnson Witherspoon and Ann Adelia Witherspoon.
The house looks like a craftsman bungalow but is considerably larger. Although it was at one time a beautiful home, Henrietta never took care of it. She became a recluse and lived the final days of her life in only one or two rooms of her home.  Her home sold after her death in 1961.
George remarked that the current owners have the house looking better than he can ever remember it.