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Homes Tour Celebrates Herndon's History

Town's 125 years of history showcased through 19th annual Herndon Homes Tour.

Megan Ferguson and her husband Wally have been preparing for this moment for two years.

This Saturday, Dec. 4, will be the first time the young couple can showcase the two years of labor and lengthy renovations they underwent to make their first house not only their own, but also worthy of showing off in the 19th annual Herndon Homes Tour.

"They had called a couple of years prior," said Megan Ferguson of the Herndon Homes Tour committee's request to show their home at 610 Spring Street. "It was a goal we had when we bought the house to have it on the tour."

Since their purchase of their first home as a married couple in June 2002, Ferguson said she and her husband have turned the small Victorian house — built in 1898 — into the modern home it is today.

"We painted everywhere," joked Ferguson about the initial changes they made. "We did mostly interior cosmetic stuff to be ready for the tour."

THIS YEAR'S Herndon Homes Tour has taken a theme of celebrating the town's 125th anniversary by showcasing an assortment of homes that reflect the town's history from inception until the 20th century.

"Herndon has a real sense of history, you can't help but wonder what happened here," said Carol Bruce, co-chair of the event about the historic homes that make up Herndon. "Herndon is one of those towns that you can drive down the streets and see how the town developed."

Bruce, who has been on the committee since its inception in 1986, said this year the group wanted to focus on different eras of houses in town.

"The Bready house is a beautiful house," said Bruce of the oldest house on the tour. "It's neat because it is still in the family."

Laura Price, co-owner of the Bready house — built in 1876 by Herndon's first mayor, Isaiah Bready — said her husband was able to purchase the house that has been in his family since its creation from his parents, and the two moved in in 1976.

Although they have done numerous renovations and additions to the house — including a two-car garage and outdoor swimming pool — Price said she has attempted to maintain an ambiance of history in the house.

"Because of my upbringing, the inside of our house is chock full with antiques," she said. Although their house has history, she joked, they are realists and do have electrical appliances like microwaves and a dishwasher.

In addition to maintaining the history of the house, while including their own style with the addition of a Virginia Tech Hokies/Washington Redskins bar room, Price said they have kept up the tradition of the house as well.

"It's like party central here," said Price about the numerous holiday parties and other events they have hosted at the house over the years for Herndon residents. "That's what the house used to be about, so we have kept up the party tradition for sure."

BRUCE EXPLAINED tour goers will have the opportunity to visit five homes and the Herndon Masonic Moose Lodge, some within walking distance, others worth driving to.

The houses vary from the newest — built in 1977 — to the oldest being the Bready house, and vary in styles from cozy to antique.

"I have a lot of favorites, there are so many interesting houses in this town," said Bruce of the houses she likes the most on the tour.

"My favorite part of the tour — the first time it struck me — was being out in town and seeing the people walking from house to house and enjoying themselves," Bruce said about why she enjoys the homes tour each year. "It's nice to see that happen."

Bruce explained the tour, sponsored by the Herndon Historical Society, began as an effort to increase the interest and awareness of Herndon's older homes and buildings and focus attention toward the town's originality.

Proceeds of the tour are used to fund the society's program to recognize significant structures in the town through the designation of a bronze plaque. Bruce said, to date, 21 homes have been recognized.

In addition to recognizing the town's history, funds also go toward the Herndon Business and Professional Women's Club scholarship fund, the Herndon Veteran's Memorial building fund and the Neighborhood Resource Center.

The Herndon Homes Tour will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available until Dec. 3 for $12 at the Herndon Florist and Herndon Dulles-Visitors Center. Tickets will still be available Dec. 4, but will be $15 and only available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Herndon Depot Museum at 717 Lynn Street.

Although Ferguson said she and her husband will not be at their home during the tour, she said the docents at the house will be one of their sets of parents, so she feels comfortable knowing they will be the ones protecting their house.

"I don't think it's really hit us yet that a ton of people will be walking through our home," she said of the event they prepared two years to participate in.