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Historic Homes tour is a must-see

By BY JEFF WRIGHT
March 30, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
Updated March 29, 2014 at 10:30 p.m.


Did you know that Stonewall Jackson's chief of staff lived in Victoria? Would you be more surprised to know that the house he and his wife built still stands in Victoria today? Would you be even more surprised to know that on April 5-6, you have the opportunity to tour the house? Are you sufficiently intrigued now? Well, the story of Robert Lewis Dabney is just one of countless stories to be told during Victoria Preservation Inc.'s 27th Historic Homes Tour.

Have you ever heard of Schneider Hill? Well, after you visit the C.F. Schneider cottage, you can say that you've been there.

Perhaps you didn't know there is a carriage step, complete with a hitching ring, located at the Dr. F.B. Shields House.

We in Victoria are somewhat spoiled by the fact that so many of our historic structures have been preserved. This fact is not lost on others, as groups and individuals from all over the state visit Victoria in order to soak in our rich heritage. One way that VPI works to preserve this heritage is through our Historic Homes Tour.

In many respects, these tours equate to a trip back in time. Where else can you explore beautiful and historically significant houses? Learn about the architecture of Victoria's most interesting houses. Enjoy the quaint and the extravagant. View the contrast between the antique and the modern. Hear stories, some well-known and some not told until now, about Victoria's history and the people who lived it.

Last year, we explored the College Park neighborhood, which recently became Victoria's newest historic district. Though not as old or well-known as some of our other neighborhoods, College Park, with its gorgeous trees and mix of architectural styles, was a real crowd-pleaser. This year, we decided to return the tour to Old Victoria. Homes on this year's tour straddle the Original Townsite and Victoria Heights historic districts. Five historic homes will be presented; each is a jewel in itself. To their owners, historic homes offer various amenities; high ceilings, ample windows, decorative woodwork and a chance to live "in history." To the general public, these homes exude a certain ambiance and instill a pride of place.

Historic homes are some of our most precious, and at the same time, vulnerable windows to the past. Victoria Preservation Inc. was formed in 1980. Our first Historic Homes Tour, "Exploring The Past Through Architecture," was the next year. During the past 32 years, 143 houses have been opened to the public. This year, we celebrate 27 years of tours.

If you've ever passed an intriguing house and thought to yourself, "I wonder what the story behind that house is," or "I would love to go inside that place," then VPI's 27th Historic Homes Tour is definitely for you.

Jeff Wright is Executive Director Of Victoria Preservation Inc. VPI is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. For ticket information, contact VPI at 361-573-1878 or at vpitx.com. Like Victoria Preservation Inc. on Facebook.

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