Historic home tour offers chance to visit past
By STEVE QUAKENBUSH
Finney County Historical Museum Executive Director
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. We don't know if Garden City founding father William Fulton ever uttered those words, or whether his daughter, Ciddie Fulton Stevens, ever echoed a similar sentiment, but both of their houses will be on display in the 2013 Garden City Historic Homes and Buildings Tour.
The tour, set for 1:30 to 4 p.m. June 9, provides a chance to see inside five structures linked to the community's past. Hosted by the Finney County Women's Chamber and Finney County Historical Society, it is taking place as part of Beef Empire Days, with support by two key sponsors: Coldwell Banker, The Real Estate Shoppe and Golden Plains Credit Union.
Five homes and buildings
Admission is $15. In addition to visiting inside each designated stop, ticket holders may attend a concluding reception in the outdoor courtyard at the Finney County Historical Museum.
Tour sites include:
* The Ciddie Stevens House, 508 N. Sixth
* The Salyer House, 1012 N. Main
* The Z.T. Nelson Building, 414 N. Main
* The Community Church, 710 N. Third
* The William D. Fulton House, adjacent to the museum in Finnup Park.
The home of Ciddie — aka Sadie — Stevens belongs to artists Brian and Ramona McCallum. Broadcast sales executive Becce Gigot owns the Salyer home. The Nelson Building, former location of the Americana Shoppe, is now Illusions Hair Salon, owned by Rosie and Rick Swick.
The Community Church has stood at Third and Walnut since 1951, but the congregation traces its roots to 1879 as Garden City's oldest church. The Fulton House was the last of three homes owned by William D. Fulton, and it was moved just south of the museum in 2005, after 121 years on Seventh Street.
Guides from the women's chamber will host guests at each site. You're welcome to visit the locations in any order, but we're encouraging everyone to see the Fulton House last, since it is only steps from the reception, where we'll offer:
* Light refreshments
* Music by singer-guitarist Al Miller
* A one-day exhibit of paintings by local artists, depicting a dozen historic homes and buildings throughout the community.
You can buy tickets the day of the tour at any of the stops, or in advance, beginning soon, at:
* The Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth
* Baker Boot, 211 W. Kansas Avenue
* Regan Jewelers, 412 N. Main
* Wharton's, for Every Bloomin' Thing, 906 N. 10th
* Wheatfields on Main, 309 N. Main.
Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial revival
The 1902 Queen Anne Victorian on Fifth was built by the wife of founding father John Stevens. The original owner was also the daughter of fellow Garden City founders William and Luticia Fulton. It has been painted in period-appropriate colors since the 1990s, when former owners Charles and Carla Burroughs completed extensive interior and exterior work. It features ornate trim, an original oval glass front door and a honey oak staircase.
The Salyer house, with Craftsman details, dates to 1924. It belonged to Emil and Blanche Salyer from 1943 to 1964, and later to Dr. Gary Viterise. It served prior to 1943 as a home for teachers. Though now filled, it featured Garden City's first in-ground private swimming pool, installed in 1953. Since 2007, the present owner has extensively redecorated the interior and restored the original open stairway.
The Z.T. Nelson Building has stood on Main Street since 1888, and housed the Americana Shoppe for 38 years, and the salon since last October. It was erected by the vice president of the Nickel-Plate Rail Co., a leading southwest Kansas investor during Garden City's early years. He operated a dry goods store and later served in the partnership of Toombs and Nelson.
The building also has served various other businesses, including the Frank Conard and Rintoul photography studios and a doughnut shop. The Swicks renovated the interior, preserving the 125-year old wooden floors, original brick and woodwork, tin ceiling panels and other details. They are displaying 1920s newspapers and other artifacts recovered during renovation.
In addition to the Nelson structure, tour participants may visit the adjacent Regan Building apartment of Chistopher Cruz, who has lived on the top floor for 16 years in a building dating to 1889, featuring hardwood floors, original woodwork and a skylight.
The red brick Community Congregational Church, dedicated in 1951, is a familiar Garden City landmark in New England Colonial style. The original building was designed by Kansas City architect Luther O. Willis, who also designed the Garden National Bank building.
The Fulton House is the last of three residences occupied by William D. Fulton, who built the Folk Victorian home in 1884. One of the community's earliest remaining residences, the house originally stood south of Garnand Funeral Home. The main floor features a living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen equipped with period furniture. The parlor houses an exhibit on early-day Garden City and the town's founders.