Crestwood Civic Club Holiday Home Tour

Annual tour features
two historic homes, one residence

'The Beeches' home
highlights the list of tour stops

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (November 2010) – The Beeches home has a long history of providing the setting for many parties, dinners and weddings in Pewee Valley. Its beautiful location and architectural style make it a perfect choice for inclusion in this years’ Crestwood Civic Club’s Annual Holiday Home Tour and Luncheon.
Each year the Crestwood Civic Club chooses three distinctive houses to showcase during the holidays. The Beeches is a “great house to be on the tour,” said local interior designer Claudia Stoess.

Beeches home

Photo provided

Author Annie Fellows Johnston
bought The Beeches in 1911 and
wrote her novels from the
second floor study.

Stoess will be furnishing the circa 1902 house with merchandise from Stoess Manor. The Beeches is owned by Stephanie Applegate and is currently for sale. When decorating, Stoess will “certainly keep the flavor of the older period.”
Using a few antiques, the Christmas décor will be of natural materials. “This is a great opportunity to do something for the community,” said Stoess.
A variety of dried and artificial décor will be used to “give longevity to the decorations, so the house can be shown throughout the holidays,” she said.
Over the years, the owners have been able to maintain the interior and keep an atmosphere of what life must have been like to live in this quaint, historic home, Stoess said. The tour provides “a wonderful chance to experience the history of the area.”
The Beeches was built by Mamie Craig Lawton as a memorial to her late husband, Maj. Gen. Henry Lawton. Construction was funded by donations from people all over the United States to commemorate her husband’s heroic death in the Spanish-American War.
The Crestwood Civic Club’s annual Holiday Home Tour and Luncheon will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. Lunch will be available at two seating times, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., at the Club House located on Kavanaugh Road.
“The proceeds help with the college scholarship we give each year and also our giving to the indigent fund of four schools in Crestwood,” said Crestwood Civic Club member Carla Jones. “We also have several other programs in Oldham County that we support heavily.”
The second house on the tour belongs to Suzy and Fred Dolt. The couple purchased Cedar Crest Farm three years ago. It is the former home of Oldham County Judge-Executive Duane Murner and his wife, Anne.
The traditional farm house was built around 1805 and added on to several times over the years. William Wesley Duncan, the grandfather of Alexander Duncan who built Duncan Memorial Chapel in Floydsburg, bought the property in the 1850s, doubling its size for his family of 11 children.
The Crestwood property is now comprised of 35 acres that extend to Floyd’s Fork, said Suzy Dolt. The main residence consists of 5,500 square feet and has been kept up very well by the Murners, she said. A 1,050-square-foot guest cottage also sits on the property.
“It’s a beautiful old historic house,” said Dolt. “And it’s a very comfortable house.”
When the Dolts purchased the home, they were looking for a getaway property. “It’s close to the city, yet when we’re here, we feel like we’re in the middle of the country,” she said.
Dolt said she will be decorating the entire home in a very traditional style, using a lot of greenery, magnolia leaves, pomegranates, and dried fruits. When it comes to holiday décor, “I like the natural look.”
The third home on the tour belongs to Euline and Jim Texas, who bought their two-story Crestwood condo in 2008. “I get a lot of compliments on my house,” said Euline Texas. She said the most impressive space is the large sunroom.
But her favorite spot is the formal living room, which will contain a large onyx nativity scene. She decorates every inch of her home, including the stair rails, which will be covered in “greenery, poinsettias and a lot of hanging ornaments,” Texas said.
Her decorating style is “a mix of different things,” she said. Many of her decorations are old and were used when her four children were young.
“I make it like I want it,” she said. “I want it to be just right.”
Raised in Oldham County on Ashbourne Farms, Texas has almost 30 years experience in the floral industry. She began her career at Heritage Florist in Ballardsville, and helped prepare the Kentucky Derby Rose Blanket in 1980. This experience only adds to the exquisite holiday décor of her home.

• To make reservations for the Crestwood Civic Club Annual Holiday Home Tour, contact Anne Murner at (502) 292-2701. Tickets for the tour and luncheon are $17. Tickets for the tour only are $12.

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