By Kay WiseDecember 15, 2011
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Old Post families showed off their holiday spirit as residents of the historical homes opened their doors to the public during the 20th Annual Tour of Homes on Sunday.
Sponsored by the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses Club, this annual event helps support scholarships given out yearly to new high school graduates and spouses seeking to continue their education. It allows sightseers the chance to take a walk back in history and get a glimpse inside of homes standing since the 1880s.
Each home was decorated with the resident family's personal holiday touch, and those in attendance seemed amazed at how different the individual homes felt, even with their similar floor plans.
"Every house has a different personality," was a comment heard several times throughout the tour.
Members of B Troop, 4th Regiment, U.S. Calvary (Memorial) dressed in period military attire of the late 1800s, volunteered their services to stand at the doors of many of the homes and welcome arriving patrons. The Tombstone Vigilantes graced the streets, in 1880s to 1900s period attire, adding to the unique historical feel of the Old Post.
Last year's Tour of Homes was halted due to renovations being done on the homes. These renovations made each one unique. Some houses have newly renovated kitchens and bathrooms, while some still have an antique appeal.
"There just weren't enough homes to show (last year)," said Ursel Huber, this year's co-director of the Tour of Homes event.
Huber worked closely with Pam Sherod, FHCSC member and 5th grade teacher at Gen. Myer Elementary School, bringing together volunteers from the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, the FHCSC, B Troop volunteers, students from the Buena High School National Honor Society and musicians from the community to ensure the event lived up to the expectations of veteran and first-time spectators.
"This year, the turnout was good. There were three buses, two from Tucson and one from Green Valley," Huber said.
In previous years, the event brought in around $8,000.
"There were fewer people this year, but still I thought there were a lot of people attending," she added. The numbers for this year have not been calculated, but Huber thinks there were between 500-700 visitors touring the homes.
The owners showed their hospitality while welcoming viewers into their homes. Peg Puett, wife of Col. Joseph Puett III, commander, Joint Interoperability Test Command, has been to many Tours of Homes, "It's my first time showing my own home," she said as she showed the dorm, the Striker House behind their home, that she has turned into a room for her boys when they visit.
Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, commander, Network Enterprise Technology Command, displayed a gingerbread city, including a church, a nativity and the witch's house from the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale, "Hansel and Gretel."
The FHCSC has once again provided Fort Huachuca with what members consider a successful Annual Tour of Homes. It has also given the community a chance to take a trip back in time, meet the occupants of historical homes and kick off the holiday season on Fort Huachuca.