The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 18, 2012

Jo Ellis: Carthage homes tour to feature mix of building styles

By Jo Ellis
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — After a two-year hiatus, the Carthage Historic Preservation Christmas Homes Tour is back. The tour of eight historic homes is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

In addition to the homes, Carthage Historic Preservation is offering a high tea from 1 to 5 p.m. that day at the 1895 Phelps House mansion, 1146 Grand Ave.

Many of the homes on this year’s tour have never been opened to the public before. They represent homes built between 1884 and 1915, displaying Classical Revival, Queen Anne, Eastlake, Craftsman, Beaux Arts and Colonial Revival styles. This year’s tour is dedicated to the memory of Diane and Jesse Ott, longtime supporters of Carthage Historic Preservation.

The oldest home on the tour is the Douglas and Beth Simmons home, 1522 River St., built in 1884. Family antiques from the same period, including an Oriental rug from the present owner’s grandmother, give a classic air to the home.

High on the must-see list is the three-story Queen Anne house of David and Rhonda Thorne, 205 W. Macon St., popularly known as the Horace Baker House, after its original owner. Its wrap-around porch, turrets and towers are notable features. Original chandeliers, a massive oak staircase and a secret passage between bedrooms are among the many features of this home.

Another Queen Anne house, owned by Michael and Jeanne Goolsby, was built in 1893. The couple restored the original oak and walnut woodwork and front door. For the past 23 years, they have operated a thriving bed-and-breakfast in the home at 1615 Grand Ave. Features include curved plaster walls in the entryway, stained-glass windows and a sweeping grand staircase.

Steve and Melinda Wilson’s home, 1213 Grand Ave., is a transitional style known as Eastlake or Stick style. It was built in 1895 with outside walls and trusses forming the exterior decoration rather than the gingerbread of the Queen Anne style. Traditional decor enhances the home’s original wood floors, moldings and windows.

The Doyle Conrow apartment is on the lower floor of a single-family Classical Revival residence at 1180 Grand Ave. It was built around 1900 and is being turned into two high-end apartments. The living room retains its original fireplace and built-in bookcase. Topping the kitchen cabinets is a collection of baskets woven by Conrow.

The Thomas Reed home, 314 Euclid Blvd., is known locally as the Powers-Winchester home. It was built in 1908 and was purchased and somewhat remodeled in 1917 by prominent Carthage residents Everett Powers and Marian Wright Powers, a noted opera singer. A bequest from their daughter helped to establish the Powers Museum. Family pictures and clothing from the museum will be displayed during the tour, along with the owner’s collection of Victorian toys and dolls and an antique pump organ.

The gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial home of Robert and Debbie Heath, 1218 Maple St., was built in 1915 and exhibits several elements from that era, including a stunning archway between the living and dining rooms, back-to-back fireplaces between the two rooms and French doors leading to the porch.

The Craftsman style characterizes many homes built between 1910 and 1930. Clean lines, exposed rafters and distinctive porches best describe the home of Robert and Lea Ann Keeling, 1441 Maple St., built in 1919. Original receipts from the home’s construction, built-in cupboards and bookcases, and leaded glass windows in the dining room are features to look for inside the home.

Advance tickets are $15 for the tour and $10 for the high tea. Reservations are required for the tea. Tickets are available at local stores or from the website through Nov. 28. After that date, tickets will be $20. The tickets may be exchanged for admission booklets any time after 8:30 a.m. Dec. 1 at the Phelps House.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email