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Get a glimpse of the past at Harriman Christmas Tour

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The spirit of Christmas is upon us — and what better way to feel the love of the season than to share with others.

On Dec. 14-15, Harriman residents will open their homes to guests for the 23rd annual Christmas Home Tour and Tea.

Guests will be able to get a glimpse into the past as they tour seven Victorian-era homes with the glorious architecture of days gone by.

The style and craftsmanship of the homes represented are from 1890s-1920s time period.

Homeowners painstakingly decorate the homes for the holiday season with all the trimmings.

Visitors are welcomed with friendly smiles and a bit of history about the historic home from their owners.

One of the homes on the tour is Monte Vista, the Cassell-D’Alessandro Home. Built in 1905 as a country estate by Judge Robert and Perle Hill Cassell, Monte Vista is the epitome of a gracious Colonial Revival home.

The tiled floor in the upper hallway bathroom contains the initials “MV,” indicating the home’s original name.

Those on the tour may stop by the Hospitality House for a spot of tea, a scone and meeting some of the Cornstalk Heights volunteers and folks from the community.

New to the tour this year will be a collection of artwork adorned in each home by Roane County artists.

The Arts Council of Roane County has joined the tour, providing samples of artists’ works in each home as well as in Harriman’s downtown area.

“The Cornstalk Heights Historic Homeowners Organization is excited about partnering with the Arts Council of Roane County to expand our Christmas Home Tour,” said Diana Knobloch, president of Cornstalk Heights Historical Community Organization.

“To be able to showcase beautiful homes and talented artists together in one event made sense for us to do,” she added.

The art show and the artists themselves will be at 429 and 431 Roane St., downtown. Tourists are encouraged to visit the temporary showrooms and talk with the artists in this opportunity for gift ideas.

The self-guided home tours will be from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 14, and from 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 15.

Tickets are $15 per person, $5 for ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and younger.

Advance tickets sales for the Christmas Home Tour and Tea are underway at Red Door Antiques at 505 Roane St., 230-7769; and Rocky Top General Store, 316 Ruritan Road, 882-8867.

Those touring may also visit the historic Harriman Public Library, one of the last standing Carnegie libraries, at 601 Walden St., for tickets on the days of the tour.

Cornstalk Heights is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors.

Proceeds from the tickets sales go directly for community improvement and restoration projects.