The Society’s 15th Annual Holiday House Tour was held on a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon in early December. The tour included six historically and/or architecturally significant homes decorated for the holiday season. The old Islip Movie theatre, which stands on Main Street, was a unique stop on the tour this year. One brave Model ‘A’ Ford Club member made an appearance with his antique car. The other club members did not participate due to the inclement weather.
Once again, all of the homes were beautifully decorated for the holidays and were ready to be admired by one and all.
The Artonio home was decorated with a full French Country flair. The mantel shimmered silver and gold. The European inspired gardens are sure to be beautiful when spring arrives. As you entered the Atwood home, you were surrounded by 18th and 19th century American antiques.
The Goltz home, which was named Middle Plantation, had featured original handcrafted molding and beautiful glass door knobs.
Two Marines flanked either side of the hand crafted front door at the Raynor home. This was the oldest home on the tour, built in 1824, and featured a magnificent tree in the dining room adorned with food glass ornaments and a chef hat.
As you walked up the long drive to the Koerner home, the 119th New York Military Encampment Group had set up camp. The re-enactors kept warm by the fire as they sipped hot turkey soup. The Koerner home is small in size but is enriched with much history. This is why three generations have called this house a home.
A charming cottage style home owned by the Farrer family is nestled behind a very large and beautiful, blue spruce pine tree. The homeowners have updated a sun porch off the kitchen, renovated a bathroom on the second floor and replaced the front porch flooring with gorgeous Brazilian rosewood called Ipe.
The Islip Movie Theatre, which stood on Main Street for sixty years, had its last curtain call in 2006 [note: reopened since then]. A dedicated group of individuals volunteered their time to help save the theatre from being torn down. It operated as a Performing Arts Center but has recently closed and once again the building is in jeopardy. We hope that the community pitches in, once again, to save this historic jewel.
After touring all of the wonderful homes, theatre and church, the tour participants were invited to a reception. The aroma of warm drinks and homemade cookies filled the air. The reception hall was decorated for the holiday with wreaths, poinsettias and holly. The beautiful voices of the Twin County Chorus of Sweet Adelines could be heard upon entering the Sanctuary. Our auction was a smashing success with lots of great prizes that were donated by our members and the local merchants. The Society would like to thank the United Methodist Church of Islip for once again doing an outstanding job hosting our Holiday House Tour reception.
In keeping with the Holiday spirit for the 15th year in a row, the Society sponsored a toy collection drive for the United States Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program. As a result, the collection was a success as tour participants and members filled bins with toys for needy children in our community. Thank you to everyone who purchased new toys for this worthwhile cause.
The success of the Holiday House Tour depends heavily on the commitment and dedication of the many volunteers who help us stage Islip’s very own holiday spectacular. The Society wishes to thank: the tour guides for working with both the homeowners and tour participants to insure a smooth flow through the houses; the reception area hostesses for their excellent work at getting the hall ready and keeping our guests happy by filling the cookie baskets and having warm drinks flowing; the Town of Islip for having the rotunda beautifully decorated inside and out for our use; local artist Karen Schill for the wonderful pen and ink drawings that are given to the homeowners as gifts; Lori Zegel, proprietor of Nook & Cranny Gifts & Collectibles for selling our Holiday House Tour tickets.
Lastly, the Society thanks its members whose financial support made the tour possible. If you would like to become more involved, why not volunteer your time and join the Holiday House Tour Committee? We will meet and start planning the 16th Annual Holiday House Tour in early summer.
**Please consider having your home showcased on our 16th Annual Holiday House Tour. The tour is our main fundraiser and it is truly a wonderful way to start the holiday season!