MEDINA — Journey back time on the Old Phoenix stagecoach Saturday and experience architectural history during the Twilight Stroll Home Tour.
The tour this year, presented by the nonprofit South Court Historic Neighborhood Association from 5-9 p.m., will feature five restored homes on South Court Street that range from the 1830s to the 1940s.
The tour will begin in the lobby of Huntington Bank, 39 Public Square, with a visit to the vault that was constructed in the bank’s basement following a fire in 1870.
Each of the homes open for the tour will be staffed by the owners and docents, who will explain the house’s history, architecture and details regarding its restoration, renovation and decor.
As guests stroll through the neighborhood, not all homes will be open to visitors, but they will meet characters who were founding members of Medina:
- 524 S. Court St. — The brick cottage was built in 1936 by Freda Snyder, whose family built Farmers Exchange. Snyder will be played by Norma Moyer, who owns the home along with her husband, Bob.
- 529 S. Court St. — Barb and Tom Kauffman own the home. Andrew and Katherine Griesinger built the largest Federal brick home in Medina in 1838, as well as a successful shoe business on Medina’s Square. The house will not be open to visitors.
- 560 S. Court St. — It’s a double-bracketed Italiante built in 1887. It’s owned by Ron and Melissa Wheeler.
Next door, those on the tour will be greeted by portrayers of William and Sarah Asire. William Asire built Asire Furniture and Undertaking business. This house also will not be open to the public.
Louis Garver lived in this home when he was mayor of Medina from 1938-43. He also was editor of The Medina Gazette. Garver was one of four former mayors that lived on South Court Street, including Bill Lamb (1982-90), Joseph Andrew (1880-84) and Jim Roberts (1990-2002). Beth and Charlie Ramer will portray the Asires.
- 715 S. Court St. — This 1940 Cape Cod is owned by Debbie Knurek. Tom and Mildred Goulding will speak about the home they built. Tom Goulding also owned Western Auto on the Square from 1936-74.
- 721 S. Court St. — This 1881 Queen Anne home is owned by Bill and Elaine Lamb. It was built by Paul Parker, who also built bridges. Those on the tour can speak to ex-Mayor Andrew, who lost an arm in the Civil War. He will be portrayed by Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell.
“We’ve tried to expand the number of houses (on the tour),” said Bill Lamb, a Medina councilman at-large. “People can learn about our city’s history.”
Not only will the tour complement the city’s bicentennial celebration (Medina was founded in 1818), it also demonstrates the connection between the homes on South Court and the development of the city’s business district, he said.
At Grant and South Court streets, guests will have an opportunity to board the Old Phoenix stagecoach to be transported back in time for horse-drawn journey around the block.
The stagecoach was a common site in Medina parades and events until Old Phoenix Bank was sold to FirstMerit.
It’s owned by Seville’s Dave Reidel, who stored it in his barn. His son, Todd, will be giving the stagecoach rides.
“For the folks who have never seen it, it will be fun,” Bill Lamb said.
This year’s home tour will display a number of objects from the hundreds that have accumulated during the 40 years of home restorations.
At the Lambs’ home, there will be Civil War artifacts, including a bayonet that Paul Parker — builder of Lamb’s home — brought back from the war and was stored in the attic.
Local author Dave Edmonds will be on hand to sign his latest book at 706 S. Court St. Also, Cathy Fafrak will provide piano music, and light food and hors d’oeuvres will be available in the food tent at 722 S. Court St. Wine is available for $5 a glass.
Tickets are $10 and are available at:
- Cool Beans Café, 103 W. Liberty St.;
- Medina County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 32 Public Square;
- Miss Molly’s Tea Room, 140 W. Washington St.;
For information, call (330) 461-3894 or (330) 421-5829.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.