The 21st annual Holiday House Tour, which took place on Sunday, December 7th was a great success.  Having sold approximately 470 tickets this year, tour participants started the day at noon and visited six wonderful homes.

The Nalbone house, a charming Colonial, built around 1910 was filled with charm.  The family takes great pride in decorating for the holidays and it certainly showed.  From the time one stepped on the front porch and continuing through every room in the house, the spirit of the holidays was everywhere.  The Nalbone home was filled with antiques and collectibles that were handed down by their families, as well as new and old pieces the couple purchased.  The Nalbone’s wonderful decorating style combined with the beautiful bones of this house made it a treasure to visit.

Upon first approaching the Zahl house, a 100 year old front porch colonial it presented with a very traditional style.  Once inside, one could see how the home was transformed to fit a modern lifestyle while staying true to the original character of the house. Original floors, woodwork, exposed brick, and a beautiful oak staircase made a lovely backdrop for more contemporary features of the home.

The Weishahn house, a sprawling ranch set on one acre was built in 1965 an era not often showcased on our Holiday House Tours.  Built on land which was once part of the Macy Estate, this California Ranch had quite a surprise in store for visitors.  The house was built with a 20’ by 40’ heated indoor pool.  The large pool room with slate floors, a fireplace, wood burning stove, hot tub and bar were the focal point of the tour, however the rest of the house was quite remarkable as well.  The furnishings, which combined new and antique pieces created an eclectic and elegant living space.

The oldest house on our tour this year was the Incalcatera House, a large Victorian which was built in the 1880’s.  A perfect example of houses of this era, guests were welcomed onto the wraparound porch before entering the house.  Boasting three working fireplaces and many original built-ins, the home’s large and numerous rooms were a treat to view.

The charming cottage style house located in the Snug Harbor area of Islip showed yet another unique architectural design.  The Knutsen’s home was built in the 1930’s using building materials salvaged from the Carlisle Estate in East Islip a common practice in that era, since many of the lavish estates in the area were being demolished.  While keeping the original charm of what was originally a small cottage, the Knutsen’s expanded the home to create an open and inviting space.

The Romano’s house, a turn of the century Victorian, which was originally owned by Town Sheriff Och had a jail in the basement for overnight “guests”.  The Romano’s have taken great pride in restoring and expanding this house, replicating original moldings and woodwork and using period furnishings, many of which were handed down in their own family.

Participants were able to take a break from touring houses to visit the United Methodist Church of Islip where they could have a warm cup of cider or hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music performed by Violinist, Jim Graseck. Delicious cookies, provided by Waldbaum’s were plentiful.  Our famous Chinese Auction did not disappoint.  Over 80 baskets were on display and there were many happy winners of a multitude of prizes.

We once again partnered with the U.S. Marines to collect toys for Toys for Tots.  This year our handsome Marines were at the Incalcatera House where they accepted a record number of toys.

Our annual Holiday House tour has always been our most major fundraiser.  Our success can be attributed to the many members of the Historical Society who commit their time to this event and to those who make generous donations.   A special thank you is in order to Lori Zegel from Nook and Cranny who sells our tickets for us in her shop, Karen Schill who creates pen and ink drawings of the houses on the tour, which are given to the homeowners as gifts and used to create our Tour Booklet, and Mark West for designing and creating the Tour Booklet.    Most importantly we must thank the homeowners who generously shared their homes with us this year.  We were blessed with six lovely homes to tour, each with its own unique appeal and each with hosts who were charming and gracious to all who visited.
Tour Highlights
Christina Vanasco
Historical Society of Islip Hamlet Est. 1992