Girls and women in pioneer dresses and boys in Civil War Union Soldier uniforms! It was the dress of the day for the “If This House Could Talk” tour hosted by the Woman’s Club of St. Cloud Heritage Museum.
Twenty-two homes built by Union veterans were featured. Fisk Funeral Home and two residences hosted Open Houses to display original woodwork, fireplaces, and unique architectural features. Narrators described the style of the houses and told colorful stories about the owners.
Craftsman, Spaniflora, Masonry Vernacular, and Frame Vernacular are a few of the styles that were seen. Participants learned that Sears and Aladdin pre-cut houses were ordered and sent by rail to be built on lots.
When house plans were ordered, homes were constructed of local materials. The oldest house shown was built in 1887 for Samuel Lupfer who was superintendent of the sugar plantation.
Seven busloads of enthusiastic tour goers wound around the neighborhoods of St. Cloud. After the tour, they were treated to light refreshments of tea, coffee, muffins, sandwiches, and desserts.
The Heritage Museum located at 1012 Massachusetts is the repository of many artifacts, photographs, and documents related to the founding of the city. This home tour is one of many events that the museum sponsors to help people learn about the city’s history and to promote historic preservation.
Olive Horning, St. Cloud FL Heritage Museum Curator, said “We discovered that many people who attended the tours had lived here for 20-30 years and really didn’t know much about the city.”