"We didn't do one last year so it's been two years since we've had one," said Tom Graham, board member and president of the Mississippi County Historical Society. "Other groups used to offer home tours. About six years ago, the Historical Society picked them up. This is our third or fourth one."
This year the home tour will have four historical homes in Charleston available for visits from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, according to Graham, including the Historical Society Home located at 403 North Main Street.
"The house was given to the Historical Society by the Moore family in 1977, so this is our 30th year to be located there," he said.
To celebrate the milestone, the Historical Society has placed 30 Christmas trees around the home.
"They range anywhere from 10 inches to 10 feet," Graham said. "Our theme at the Historical Society is 'It's Time for Christmas' and we've decorated the 10-
foot Christmas tree with faces from clocks to go along with the theme. We also have a five-foot antique feather tree. Back around 1900, they used to have trees made of goose feathers."
In addition to serving as the headquarters for the Historical Society, the Moore home is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The house is an 1899 Victorian home," Graham said. "There are seven fireplaces in the home, lots of period furniture, old clothing -- dresses from the 1800s to the early 1900s are always on display there." The Moore home has 17 rooms, all of which will be decorated with the Christmas theme for the home tour.
A new permanent exhibit will also make its debut for the anniversary: a diorama depicting the Civil War's Battle of Belmont will showcase handmade lead soldiers which were purchased many years ago by the Historical Society board.
"We also have three other private residences that are on the tour," Graham said. "One of the homes on display is a 1890s Victorian Painted Lady home and it has been restored and remodeled recently. The other two homes are from the early 1900s."
These homes are the Rev. Michael and Linda Brewer home at 324 East Commercial St.; the Annie Bone Huffman home at 906 East Commercial St.; and the Mr. and Mrs. Leo Schott home at 1011 East Commercial St.
"They will all be decorated for Christmas," Graham said.
The cost to tour all four homes is $5. "You can purchase tickets at the door of the Historical Society," Graham said. Tickets may also be purchased in advance from any Historical Society board member.
Proceeds from the home tour go toward maintenance of the Historical Society Home and other projects of the Mississippi County Historical Society, according to Graham.
Graham suggested those who come for the Home Tour may be interested in checking out the other events in Charleston scheduled for Saturday.
"We're having our annual Christmas Parade at 11 a.m.," said Claudia Arington, executive director of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce. "The theme is 'A Storybook Christmas.' During the parade, businesses along the parade route will have warm beverages for those watching the parade."
Chapter CV of the PEO will also hold their first tea tasting from noon until 4 p.m. at the Mississippi County Library. Tickets are $5 and recipes will be sold for $25 with proceeds going toward the PEO Scholarship Fund.