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Historic homes attract hundreds of visitors

Historic homes attract hundreds of visitors

September 18th, 2017 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

Pam Taylor gives a tour on Sunday of the Historic City of Jefferson office, which used to be Joseph DeLong's Boyhood Home, as part of the HCJ's Golden Hammer Award Homes Tour.

Photo by Nicole Roberts /News Tribune.

The rain let up Sunday in time for hundreds of people to tour eight different homes as part of the Historic City of Jefferson's Golden Hammer Award Homes Tour.

The 12th annual tour featured homes that won the HCJ's Golden Hammer Award. These homes included the Nelson and Gertrude Burch home at 115 W. Atchison St. (now owned by Ward 2 Councilwoman Laura Ward), Lincoln University president's house at 601 Jackson St. and Joseph DeLong's boyhood home — currently the local nonprofit HCJ's office — at 108 W. Atchison St.

To receive the Golden Hammer Award, a property must be nominated after being renovated to match the time periodin which the building was constructed.

Steady streams of people entered and exited the houses throughout the 4-hour tour. HCJ members, volunteers and property owners were scattered across the homes, explaining the histories of each place as visitors walked through the buildings.

Ward stood inside the doorway of her two-story home, answering questions as visitors explored the building.

"We feel like we're just stewards of the home, and we love to share its history with the community," Ward said. "(Visitors) can see the condition this home was in, and that a home can be restored and continue being a contributing property to the city."

Inside the Lincoln University president's home, HCJ tour guide Sherrie Brant directed visitors to different rooms in the building. She said the turnout was impressive, especially since there were people lined up at some of the homes before the tour even began.

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The tour attracted both new and regular tour takers. Mother-and-daughter duo Kay Harden and Anne Borgmeyer explored the Lincoln University president's home and said they had been on the tour last year. Harden also volunteered with it last year.

They said it was important for Jefferson City residents to see these homes because it not only shows people what it was like to live in older homes, but also reminds them of the city's history.

"I think it's really important to preserve Jefferson City's history because we have such a rich history here and to really look back at what we have done and how we can learn from that," Borgmeyer said.

The homes tour is a HCJ fundraiser so the organization can donate to local historic preservation sites and programs, including the Golden Hammer Award Program and Jefferson City Old Town Down Payment Incentive Program.

The nonprofit donated $20,000 to the down payment incentive program, which allows the city to match a dollar-for-dollar down payment of as much as $5,000 on certain residences.