Homes tour goes on despite snow

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Guest enjoy the Braugher-Bath House during the annual Victorian Christmas Home tour Sunday afternoon.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Guest enjoy the Braugher-Bath House during the annual Victorian Christmas Home tour Sunday afternoon.

The Carson City Historical Society's Victorian Homes Tour was a success despite losing the horse-drawn carriage rides to a Sunday morning snowstorm.

"The turnout's been really good, considering the weather was bad," said organizer Sue Ballew of the society. "We've been swamped."

Fred Stanio, dressed as legendary stagecoach driver Hank Monk, was supposed to give tours from the wagons. He was disappointed the wagon company canceled.

"Monk would have never done that," he said. "He would have pulled the stage himself."

Ballew said anyone who bought a ticket for the wagon will get a rain check for a Hoofbeats company ride in June.

"I don't think it will snow in June, but we'll see," she said.

She and about a hundred others gathered at the Brougher-Bath house, where a postmark commemorated the 100th anniversary of the home.

In a speech from the stairs, Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko noted how quickly the weather changed.

"When I woke up this morning, the snowflakes were as big as quarters -now look at these beautiful, clear-blue skies. Can you imagine how many of these wonderful days this venerable old house has seen, standing on this important corner?"

State Archivist Guy Rocha provided historic context on the house. It was built by Wilson Brougher, who made a fortune in the Tonopah mining boom.

Ballew read a proclamation from Gov. Kenny Guinn declaring Dec. 14, 2003 the day to celebrate the Brougher-Bath house; Yolanda Garcia read one from U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. They were presented to the home's owner, Carlita Ray, who has been refinishing it for three years with custom-milled lumber.

"When you're working on refinishing a home, you think it looks beautiful," she said. "But to hear everybody else say it looks good is such a reward."

She'll lease the home in January.

Edna Hannah, who taught interior design at the University of California, Los Angels, for more than 30 years, was impressed.

"I think it's lovely. They've done a wonderful job," she said.

Kristin Booth stood on the refinished upstairs porch, looking down on Curry and Spear streets.

"It just brings a tear to my eye," she said. "Now you can walk out here - you didn't used to be able to."

Her grandparents Ernest and Dora Bath lived in the home for many years. She recalls sleepovers on the porch with friends and singing Christmas carols in the dining room.

Ray, who bought the home from the estate of the Bath's daughter Martha Bath-Whitely, said her Christmas lights will be up on Tuesday evening.

Other stops on the tour included the Krebs-Peterson house on Mountain Street. Built in 1914 by surgeon Ernest T. Krebs, it is owned by Bob McFadden, an art collector. He said tour groups arrived early.

"It was supposed to start at 1 p.m., but people arrived at 10:30," he said with a laugh. "I was in my robe and socks, showing the house."

He said it's a joy to show the house and more owners of vintage homes should do so.

"I think you owe it to society."

Decked out in tuxedos, the Bruce Cox Jazz Trio played in this living room.

Money raised by the tour will go toward a new carriage house-style building near the Roberts House Museum on North Carson Street. The two-story structure will house a meeting area and storage space for the historical society.

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.


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