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Visit 5 homes during Wilson's Holiday Tour of Homes

WILSON -- Participants may get a glimpse of 1800s glory or marvel at new green energy-saving technology in a range of houses gussied up for the holidays during Wilson’s Holiday Tour of Homes Saturday, Dec. 10.

The addresses this year include:

  • A stately home at 182 Harbor St., once owned by Luther Wilson, community founder. Thought to be constructed prior to 1835, it was purchased by its current owners, Keith and Kathy Dixon, in 1981. They have painstakingly restored the home, including their most recent project -- a kitchen with white oak plank floors, Shaker-style cabinetry and soapstone countertops.
  • Milly’s Inn at 1 Sunset Island Road, once the home of Milly and Captain Cook, overlooking the harbor. Currently owned by Diane Johnson, it now serves as an inn, with four guest rooms, a communal kitchen and sitting area.
  • A Victorian-style home at 4690 E. Lake Road, which was built in 1904 and was originally a farm homestead, with a small barn and several outbuildings. The house and barn saw additions through the years. Michael and Mary Chiappone purchased the property more than 25 years ago and have completed many updates in plumbing, electric wiring and decor.
  • A home at 182 Young St. that was re-built in 1960 on the site of the original Cooper homestead. The property once contained a cemetery on top of the hill, where New York militia positioned cannons in their battle with the British during the War of 1812. Long abandoned, Robyn Wolf rescued the home in 2014 and has conducted extensive rehabilitation to make it the warm and inviting home it is today.
  • A home at 4829 Ide Road that was built in 2008 -- the realization of more than 25 years of planning by its owners, Robin Mignella and Barbara Sion. They wanted a home constructed in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act regulations, so there are no steps, wider doorways and specialized bathrooms. Mignella explained that they are nurses, and so they designed the home with an eye on future needs.

Having traveled the world as U.S. Army Nurse Corps Officers, Mignella said this is the eighth home they have built, but the first that is “green.” The house uses a wind turbine and solar tracking system, along with a geothermal heating and cooling unit. “It’s a green home and as close to zero energy as you’ll get,” Mignella said, adding that it is not entirely off of the grid.

Wilson's Holiday Tour of Homes is sponsored by the Friends of the Wilson Community Library. Tickets are $20 and will be available during the tour, planned for 1 to 5 p.m., with tour brochure pick-up at the library, 256 Young St., during those hours. Tickets also may be purchased in advance at the library or the Garden Gate Shop. The event includes desserts at the library, provided by Eileen Bos. Tickets must be presented at each home during the self-guided tour.

“We hope everyone enjoys the tour and the time and effort everyone puts into decorating their homes,” said Janet Hoffman, president of the library group. "This will get everyone in the spirit of the holidays and we’d like to thank them for supporting the Friends.”

Hoffman said the Friends conducts the tour every two years and the group uses the funds it makes to pay for special programming at the library.

Mignella said she “reads incessantly,” and so felt that joining the tour this year was “for a good cause.”

For more information, call the library at 751-6070.

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