Almost two centuries of Christmas tradition await visitors to Gonzales for the annual Winterfest Celebration Dec. 4-5.
Dressed in their holiday splendor, six historic homes will share their history during the annual Gonzales Historic Homes tour. Homes filled with renovated innovations, homes resplendent in restored elegance, and one that is almost untouched-by-the-years, are decked in their holiday finery for the tour, according to a news release from the tour committee.
A true time capsule of Texas history, the Matthew-Wells House Museum owned by the State Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 833 Mitchell St., has been designated by the Texas Historical Commission as one of a handful of Texas House Museums. The local DRT chapter is the owner and steward of the furniture and fabrics, family memorabilia, and period Christmas.
A Greek Revival masterpiece designed by noted architect J. Riely Gordon is especially breathtaking at the holidays. The rounded portico of the home, now the luxurious Belle Oaks Inn, 222 St. Peter St., beckons visitors to linger. One steps into the leaded-glass entryway and instantly understands that this is more than a fleeting glimpse of a glamorous past, according to the news release.
The oldest home on the Winterfest Tour, the 1868 John Fauth Cottage, 521 St. Peter St. recalls 153 Christmases: some on the verge of collapse. But its 21st century owners have brought new life to this Texas dog-trot treasure. Their dynamic taste, and unrelenting passion for innovation and renovation are evident throughout the home this Christmas.
The Frank Fly three story, solid brick house, 827 St. Joseph St., after decades of neglect, stands stately to welcome visitors into a magical first-floor Christmas, artisan, and antique shop, and beckons them to overnight in their upper-floor restored inn rooms. For Winterfest touring, much of the family’s Christmas is on display throughout the inn, according to the news release.
Newly restored to its 1914 splendor, the Kokernot Mansion, 723 St. James St., a 8,500 square foot masterpiece designed by Architect Henry Phelps will open its Christmas-festooned doorways once again. Now a delightful inn, the mansion has eight fireplaces and features 90 steps from bottom to top. The new owners insist their mansion is haunted by friendly spirits, according to the news release.
The J.H. Boothe House, 706 St. George St., designed by architect Atlee B. Ayres was completed in 1913.
Restored in 1996, it operated as a bed and breakfast for over a decade, and the cottage in the side lawn was crafted during that time to compliment the overall design of the property. Today, it is once again a work-in-progress.
These jewels stand as tangible evidence of the spellbinding past of Gonzales, and they illuminate a future filled with the hopes and dreams of the intrepid, imaginative, resourceful people who live, love, and celebrate Christmas in them, according to the news release.