Saturday, November 22, 2003

Home tours open doors

Walk through scenes from 'Nutcracker' in Milford; explore historic treasures in Covington

The Cincinnati Enquirer

This year's holiday home tours will include the annual event at the Promont House Museum in Milford and the first tour in eight years of Covington's Licking-Riverside Historic District.


What: Nutcracker Christmas.
When: 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, this week through Jan. 4. Evening Candlelight Nights 7-9 p.m. Friday and next Saturday and Dec. 12-13.
Where: Promont House Museum, 906 Main St., Milford.
Admission: $3 adults, $1 children.
Information: 248-0324; Web site.
The Christmas display at Promont House Museum on Main Street in Milford, running Friday -Jan. 4, will be based on the the Nutcracker ballet. Picture each room in the restored 1865 Italianate mansion, former home of Gov. John Pattison, as a scene from the production.

Enter the front hall where the staircase is lavishly decorated with swags and sugared fruits. Step into the front parlor to find a party. A broken Nutcracker lies under the soaring, decorated tree.

The daughter, Clara, falls asleep, and dreams of the Land of Sweets. The back parlor illustrates a portion of her dream with colorful decorations representing Arabia, Spain, China and Russia.

In the kitchen, you will find another portion of the Land of Sweets with Mother Ginger and her Peppermint Children. (Note all the Nutcracker merchandise through the doorway to the gift shop.)

Continuing through the Land of Sweets, enter the dining room where the setting captures the beauty of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The table is set for a party, and the room is decorated in lace, ribbon and sugared fruit.

Upstairs, the battle between the Mice and the Toy Soldiers is taking place. In the library, the Mice and the Mouse King advance toward the children's bedroom, where the Toy Soldiers and the Nutcracker Prince are waiting. The tree in this room is decorated with Nutcracker ornaments created by local school children.

The master bedroom is a Victorian Christmas Wonderland with a Victorian Tree bedecked with crystals and ribbon. The tower is transformed into the Land of Snow.

The Promont House Museum also houses the Greater Milford Area Historical Society.


What: Licking-Riverside Historic District Home Tour.
When: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 13 and 3-7 p.m. Dec. 14.
Where: Covington's historic district.
Tickets: $25; children under 12 free when accompained by paying adult. Advance tickets at the Amos Shinkle Townhouse 215 Garrard St., Covington, (859) 431-2118, or the Kentucky Haus Craft Gallery, 342 Monmouth St., Newport, (859) 261-4287. Tour days, tickets will be at George Rogers Clark Park on Riverside Drive or at the Baker Hunt Foundation, 620 Greenup St., both in Covington.
Information: (859) 581-0165.
In the Licking-Riverside Historic District, eight 19th-century homes will be open 5-9 p.m. Dec. 13 for a candlelight tour and 3-7 p.m. Dec. 4 for an afternoon tour.

Explore Amos Shinkle's Italianate home (c. 1854), Boy Scout founder Daniel Carter Beard's federal-style house (c. 1820), the Greek Revival home of banker Daniel Fallis (c. 1852), the campus of the Baker-Hunt Foundation for the Arts (c. 1840), and four other well-preserved treasures.

Stroll on foot or ride in a horse-drawn carriage as you enjoy the beautifully decorated neighborhood, bordered by the Ohio and Licking rivers. Listen to carolers and sip hot cider while you learn the history of these important homes.

Proceeds from the tour will be used for neighborhood beautification projects.

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