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Holiday decor the star of Norwin Historical Society home tour

Shirley McMarlin
| Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
This cheerful front entrance greeted guests to a Victorian-style Irwin home on Norwin Historical Society’s 2015 Holiday House Tour.
This cheerful front entrance greeted guests to a Victorian-style Irwin home on Norwin Historical Society’s 2015 Holiday House Tour.

One thing that makes this the most wonderful time of the year is the abundance of home tours, giving tour-goers a glimpse of diverse and delightful holiday decorating styles.

The Norwin Historical Society has been in on the fun for a long time, offering its 23rd tour this year on Dec. 1.

Tour hours will be 3:30-8 p.m.

The Saturday afternoon-and-evening tour will feature eight locations in the Norwin area, which comprises Irwin, North Irwin and North Huntingdon, according to Geralyn DeFelice, historical society board secretary.

The homes are a mix of very old to fairly new, in styles from Colonial to Victorian to Craftsman. Each one has a story to tell.

One of the North Huntingdon properties was built in 1855 as a stagecoach stop.

A two-story Irwin home, built between 1888 and 1904, is furnished with antiques and collectibles. Its charm made it the first — and only — stop on the owner’s 2017 house-hunting quest, DeFelice says. The owner will welcome guests with homemade cookies.

Another home, built in 2016 in the Craftsman style, features an open living plan to accommodate a multi-generational household. It sits on one acre.

A 20-year-old traditional-style dwelling promises a dining room with “a hint of Hollywood glamour,” DeFelice says. The sunroom offers views of landscaping features that include a waterfall and a pond.

Tickets and wristbands

If possible, tickets for the self-guided tour should be purchased in advance, DeFelice says. Price is $20.

Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Norwin Public Library, 100 Caruthers Lane, Irwin. They also are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Norwin Chamber of Commerce, 321 Main St., Irwin.

Beginning at 3 p.m. on tour day, tour-goers can exchange their tickets at the library for tour booklets and wristbands.

“Nobody comes into a house without a wristband,” DeFelice warns. “And the homeowners won’t open their doors before 3:30 p.m.”

Proceeds from the tour will support the historical society’s programs and events, such as caring for the grounds of the historic Brush Creek Associate Reformed Church Cemetery, assisting in genealogical research and providing speakers to local organizations and schools.

Norwin Historical Society also supports and participates with other organizations, including the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Westmoreland County Historical Society, Westmoreland Heritage and others.

Organizing the holiday home tour takes a year-round effort, DeFelice says. The search for next year’s homes starts soon after the new year.

Norwin area residents interested in opening their homes for an upcoming tour can email the historical society at info@norwinhistoricalsociety.org or find information at norwin historicalsociety.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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