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11th annual Holiday Homes Tour to be held Dec. 14 in Mt. Pleasant

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Patty and John Cheek decorate the counter Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 in the Soda Shoppe Cafe on Main Street in preparation for the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society’s 11th annual Holiday Homes Tour on Dec. 14.

In addition to showcasing homes residents have decked out for the Christmas season, the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society's 11th annual Holiday Homes Tour on Dec. 14 will also feature two local churches and the soon-to-open Soda Shoppe Cafe in the borough.

Throughout the year, society members take note of interesting homes in the area as possible tour candidates, said member Cindy Stevenson.

As early as July, Stevenson and others who sit on the society's house tour committee send letters to prospective homeowners, she said.

Come fall, the group focuses a good group of homes for the event.

One thing new about this year's tour is that it will also feature St. Pius X Church in Mt. Pleasant and Center Bethel Church in Alverton, as well as St. Pius Parish X House.

The Soda Shoppe Cafe, which is in the process of being established in the Rumbaugh Building along Main Street in the borough, will feature old-fashioned Christmas scenes in its windows.

The holiday theme will flow throughout the cafe's interior, as well, with local photos from past Christmas seasons to hang from the walls with ribbon, according to co-owners Patty and John Cheek.

In addition, the Cheeks will provide coffee, sodas and cookies for visitors.

Another borough couple, Connie and Charlie Barnhart, a past participant in many of the society's prior Holiday Homes Tours, will open their home to visitors again this year.

“I love seeing how beautifully decorated other homes on the tour are, and I am excited to share mine with others this year,” Connie Barnhart said.

The Overly Log Cabin on Washington Street, which is operated by the society, will also be open on the day of the tour.

Several gift baskets will be on display for a Chinese auction to be held there. Some of the baskets will feature sports items, candy, homemade jams and jellies and cat supplies. Coffee and cookies will also be available to visitors.

Homes will open for touring from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Stevenson said.

In addition, visitors are welcome to drive through again after sunset to see the Christmas lights decorating the borough.

Tickets for the tour are $15 per person.

They can be purchased in advance at Coke's Barber Shop on West Main Street in the borough, Joanne's Hallmark in Summit Ridge Plaza in East Huntingdon, or by contacting the society at 724-547-9115.

Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event at the Overly Log Cabin.

The event's starting point is the Chestnut Log House, also on Washington Street, Stevenson said.

A complete list of homes, details and driving directions will be given to ticket holders on the day of the event, Stevenson said.

Though ticket holders will receive a program of suggested routes, visitors are welcome to visit the sites in any order, said Carol Yancosky, a fellow society member.

Anyone interested in participating in future tours is asked to leave a brief message with the historical society.

“It's not necessary to live in a mansion to be on the tour,” Stevenson said. “We are interested in the homes in the Mt. Pleasant area, no matter how old or fancy.”

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or