The 17th Annual Holiday House Tour took place on a sunny, cold and crisp Sunday. At 12 noon the doors were opened at the six houses that were decorated and ready to be showcased this year.
The Moran home, originally showcased in 2000, was one of the oldest homes on the tour. It was originally built in 1847 by the Johnson family. One of its many owners was Fred and Phyllis Astaire. The house is probably one of the few remaining privately-owned mansions on Long Island today.
The Smedley home, which was first shown in 1999, is connected to the Moran home as to its being the guest cottage which stood on the Johnson estate.
In the Camera home, tour participants were entertained by one of their daughters playing the piano. USMC volunteers were also in the Camera home to collect toy donations for their “Toys for Tots” program.
The Auciello home has seen many changes in its 130 year history. It was once the home of the town clerk of Islip in the late 1800's.
The Siano home, which has been damaged by fire, first in 1907, then in 2009, evokes the image of one of San Francisco's "Painted Ladies".
The late 1800 gingerbread-style Victorian, home to the Risberg's, has undergone additions and renovations since its first time on the tour in 1996.
After viewing these wonderfully decorated homes, tour participants were welcomed into the Chapel of the Presbyterian Church of Islip, where the reception was held. There they were warmed by the coffee, tea and hot chocolate that was served as well as enjoy the culinary delights prepared by the Islip Middle and High School Career students. Entertainment was provided by Bernie Stolls and Gail Heppen. Also greeting the tour participants was the dazzling array of over 100 Chinese auction prizes.
A very big "Thank You" to the various board and house tour committee members for another outstanding job. We are very appreciative of all the volunteers who came out and helped us on that day; those who dress in the Victorian outfits (and Jane Mizrach who puts together the outfits), run the reception, the auction, kitchen, society table and 50/50 raffle.
Thank you to Karen Schill for the beautiful drawings, which are used in the booklet and are presented to the homeowners, to Lori Zegel of Nook & Cranny Gift Boutique for handling our ticket sales and, last, but certainly not least, to the homeowners who, this year, invited over 450 people to enjoy the history of their wonderful homes.
The Historical Society of Islip Hamlet's Holiday House Tour is a wonderful entranceway to the start of the holiday season.