Nonprofit hosts 30th Historic Homes Tour

Laura Garcia By Laura Garcia

March 20, 2017 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated March 21, 2017 at 6 a.m.

J. Ferdinand and Emily McFaddin McCan house.

J. Ferdinand and Emily McFaddin McCan house.   contributed photo by victoria preservation, inc. for The Victoria Advocate

If you have ever wanted to learn about Old Victoria and hear stories about the fascinating people of that time, here's your chance.

Victoria Preservation Inc. is hosting its 30th Historic Homes Tour on April 1 and 2.

The guided tour typically attracts about 1,000 people from all over and helps fund the organization's work in preserving the city's history.

For only $20, attendees can take a stroll through the Original Townsite Historic District and get an up-close look at five homes.

More than 150 homes have been on the tour, including the J. Ferdinand McCan House, which was featured on the first tour in 1981. In recent years, the tour has become an annual event.

Construction of the distinctive home began in 1908 in the Greek Revival style with a double veranda across the front and south side supported by several white Ionic columns.

The home was given as a wedding gift from prominent ranchman James A. McFaddin to his daughter Emmie McCan and Irish artist James Ferdinand McCan.

Emmie McCan later commissioned The Nave Museum, which was built in memory of her second husband, artist Royston Nave.

The home stands in the 400 block of North Glass Street and remains in the family.

"There's so much history here," said Jeff Wright, executive director of Victoria Preservation Inc. "That's part of what's so fun about this; you kind of get to step back in time."

Docents will be at each home pointing out the architectural details and telling stories of notable past residents.

Wright said out-of-town visitors are awestruck seeing how many buildings have been preserved in Victoria.

Victoria Preservation Inc. serves as a clearinghouse of Victoria history and shares a downtown building with the historical commission.

Its Historic Homes Tour and popular Cemetery Tour, held in October, help pay for operating expenses and make a small preservation incentive grant program possible.

Wright said the tours help people feel a link to the past.

"Making that connection is so important," he said. "What are we without our history? Being able to bring that to people and give them that experience is, I think, really cool."

Other homes on the tour:

John E. Morris House

306 W. Stayton Ave.

This charming cottage was built in 1895 by Morris and at one time belonged to Dr. W.T. DeTar and was later sold to one of the first taxicab operators in Victoria, Henry Baker.

Michael Lowery Stoner House

207 W. Power Ave.

This bungalow-style dwelling stands out with its tri-partite window in the north gable, its unique patterned shingles and tapered brick columns.

Ed Slotnick House

107 W. Commercial St.

Construction on this two-story brick home began in 1935 under architect Kai Leffland, son of Jules Leffland. The home was built for Slotnick, who began as a peddler from Poland.

William Thomas House

306 N. Wheeler St.

The classic Victorian-style home, designed by Jules Leffland about 1905, was located at 107 N. De Leon St. and moved 80 years later to Wheeler Street.


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