The 2022 Tiffin Historic Trust Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 4, from 1 to 5 PM, features the beauty of older historic homes, modern residences, and commercial architecture. Eight buildings are included in the tour, ranging from a modest bungalow to grand single family homes, an apartment building, an organization meeting place and repurposed historic homes; one now a bed and breakfast and the other the Seneca County Museum. Browse the main floor of the lovingly restored headquarters of the Tiffin Historic Trust and note the ornate interior wallpapers and numerous collectibles typical of Victorian interiors, and the slate-sided mansard roof representative of Second-Empire style architecture. Tour goers can admire both the architecture and the holiday decorations of the beautifully maintained buildings.
The Holiday House Tour ticket includes a map showing the locations of the sites which are located in the historic downtown district, as well as in north and south side Tiffin neighborhoods. Several home owners are offering holiday refreshments to their guests.
Tickets for Tiffin’s Holiday House Tour are available at Great Lakes Ace Hardware, 1550 W. Market Street, Tiffin. On the Sunday of the tour, December 4, the tickets will only be available at the Grammes-Brown House, 172 Jefferson Street, Tiffin, starting at 12:30 PM. The ticket donation is $20 per person. Contact Joan at 419-618-0698 for further information.
172 Jefferson Street - In 1988 Rosina Brown, granddaughter of confectioner Peter Grammes and the home’s builder, donated the 1884 family residence to the Tiffin Historic Trust, with the mandate that the Trust maintain and preserve the historic and architectural significance of the building. The home now serves as the lovingly restored headquarters of Tiffin’s historic preservation organization. Tour the main floor and admire the ornate wallpapers, beautiful woodwork, and numerous collectibles typical of Victorian interiors, and when outside, notice the slate-sided mansard roof representative of Second-Empire style architecture.
181 South Washington Street - Tiffin’s Masonic Lodge #77 was conceived at a meeting in August, 1833. In early 1912 a committee was formed to study building a structure wholly owned and operated by the Masonic bodies of Tiffin. The group purchased property owned by George Loomis and the Smith Estate for $10,500 and construction of the present building was begun. The cornerstone was laid by the Grand Master of Ohio using a walnut gavel crafted from wood that formed part of the old Plank Road, which was discovered ten feet below the street level of the current building. The Tiffin Masonic Lodge building was completed in 1915. Since it opened, the Board of Trustees of the Tiffin Masonic Temple has worked tirelessly to maintain the exceptional facility. The group is proud to welcome the citizens of Tiffin to one of the most uniquely beautiful buildings in Tiffin.
28 Clay Street - The 1853 brick Italianate home was built by Tiffin’s first millionaire, Rezin Shawhan and his wife Elvira. It remained in the family until 1941 when Lynn Troxel donated it to the county for use as a museum. On August 5, 1942 it was dedicated to the county to serve as the Seneca County Museum. The building is part of the Fort Ball Railroad Historic District and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum recently had its exhibit spaces refreshed and completed some building restoration work. The staff invites the public to experience an enchanting Christmas with period decor and festive music.
286 3rd Avenue - On January 3, 1906, A. McNeal bought this property for three dollars and ninety-three cents to cover delinquent taxes. It was owned by several families until 1952 when George and Dorothy Whitmer acquired the bungalow style home. Upon their deaths in the mid-1990s the home was purchased by their youngest son Lonny Whitmer. In 2001 he sold it to the Whitmer’s eldest grandson, Ronald Callahan, who now resides in the Whitmer Homeplace. The original cinder block was wrapped in vinyl in 1994. The back family room was added onto in 2002. Ron’s Photography Studio (2003) is in the separate building to the rear of the property. Stroll through this unique home as you experience its cozy cottage atmosphere. Listen to Christmas carols played on the 1910 Estey Artist’s Reed Pump Organ, which was used for many years in St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Bascom, Ohio.
269 South Washington Street, Apartment 3 - A three-bedroom apartment in the two-story brick building will be open for viewing. Built in 1914 as a 10-unit apartment structure it has been renovated into six units. The building is locally known as the “Kahler Apartments” and is currently owned by Justin and Lydia Atkin who purchased it in 2015. The building features a unique gated courtyard, original hardwood floors, woodwork, doors, and bathtub. In 2021 The Tiffin Historic Trust presented the Atkins with the Nevin E.B. Martin Award for their work on the apartment building. The apartment will be decorated for the holiday season with nine traditional and themed trees. Refreshments will be served for the guests to enjoy.
168 Rosa Street - Nestled on the hill at the end of Rosa Street, the Leslie and Andy Felter home boasts classic charm and contemporary decor. Built in 2000 by local builder Tom Wise, the Felters are the second owners of the home, purchasing it in 2013. The main living level features an open floor plan. The kitchen was recently remodeled by Zeis Companies and features Mouser cabinetry and Silestone® quartz countertops. The clean lines of the cabinetry complement the cozy outdoor setting overlooking the country-like outdoor seating area. The family holiday tree with traditional Christmas decor is highlighted in the family’s sports-themed basement. The Felters welcome you to their home and hope you enjoy your tour.
25 Adams Street - The two and a half story quintessential Queen Anne style single family residence was built in 1895 by John King. In the 1980s Lenore and Charles Livingston remodeled the house into a bed & breakfast, although after the business closed it became a rental property. In 2017 the property was purchased by Andrew H. Kalnow who had already been active in restoring a number of historic houses in the Fort Ball/Frost Parkway area. Renovation of 25 Adams began in 2020. All bathrooms and the kitchen were totally renovated, while the remaining period piece interior was carefully restored and decorated with contemporary boutique furniture. Notable elements of the Queen Anne style include cross gabled roof, decorative shingles in the gables, decorative brickwork in chimneys, slate roofs with finial ornaments at the peak, bay windows, multi-paned leaded windows, and a three story round tower with a conical roof.
319 West Woodmere Drive - The contemporary colonial-style house built in 2000 is the home of Pete and Dianna Krupp. Traditional Christmas decorations are used throughout the home. One notable feature is the Prairie-style family room with oak trim and art glass. The nine-foot tree has many ornaments, some over 100 years old. The Krupps invite you to enjoy your visit to their home!