‘Tis the season for touring historical houses, and our region has those in spades. On December 9 and 10, folks in Hudson, New York and Kent, Conn. can set off for fundraising tours that will showcase the transition in architectural styles over many decades and highlight the history of the areas. And the properties will be dressed in their holiday finery, adding to the festive nature of these tours.
Hudson Holiday House Tour
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2-5 p.m.
It’s impossible to walk around Hudson and not marvel at the architecture and the impossibly charming homes. The 2017 Holiday House Tour is hosted by the Hudson Lodging Association and will honor and support the Hudson Children’s Book Festival.
Each stop on the tour is a functioning inn or bed and breakfast, and filled with interesting factoids. The earliest home, for instance, shows up on a deed dated 1709 before Hudson even existed. It was called Claverack (“field of white clover”) Landing. By 1792, when another house on the tour was built, Hudson was the 24th largest city in the U.S. (thank you, Hudson River).
Included on the tour are The Barlow, Westcott House, Croff House, Inn at 34, Hudson B&B and Wm. Farmer & Sons. A map/guidebook will inform you about each property.
Advance tickets are $20/person; tickets purchased on the day of the event are $25. To purchase tickets, check the website
Kent Holiday Historic House Tour
Sunday, Dec. 10, noon to 4:30 p.m.
Kent’s tour, a fundraiser for the Kent Historical Society, will showcase seven private homes that exude the Colonial era.
“We are fortunate in Kent to have several Colonial-era buildings that were characteristic of early Connecticut vernacular architecture,” says Bruce Whipple, a member of the Kent Historical Society’s Board of Trustees. “Many of these house have been ‘accumulative,’ as they’ve seen 19th, 20th and 21st century additions and alterations.”
Some of the homes are located in the Kent Hollow section of town, and while the Society is keeping the owner names and locations under wraps until the day of the tour, we were able to pry a few facts about the structures from tour organizers.
One of the oldest homes on the tour has a title that dates back to 1739, the same year the town of Kent was incorporated. The home’s original foundation measured only 22 by 20 feet. Another dates back to 1716 and was part of a tract of land purchased from Chief Waramaug. The final home on the tour has an example of a space used as a primitive sleeping loft on its second floor, a common floor plan in the earliest homes in Kent.
The tour begins at the Swift House
, where day-of-tour tickets can be purchased and maps will be available. Afterwards, tour-goers can meet back at Swift House for a festive gathering around the wassail bowl.
Advance tickets are available for $45; day-of-tour tickets are $60. You can purchase tickets here
or at the Heron Gallery, Kent Wine & Spirit, and the Kent Town Clerk’s office.