California Historic Home Tours to be held

The Historic Home Tours will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, from 1-4 p.m. Tickets for adults 13 years or older are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Children ages 12 years old and under are $5. Advance tickets are on sale until Nov. 30 at area merchants.

Homes and theater on tour include Bob and Pam Buda's home located at 109 North Oak Street. It is often referred to as the "Nischwitz home." In 1898 John G. Ehrhardt willed the property to his daughter Selma who was Edward C. Nischwitz's wife. John never owned the home; however he was wealthy. The property transferred to their daughter Helen and her husband Herbert Greer in 1898.

James and Amanda Canter's home located at 706 East Smith Street. This home was built by druggist, F. W. Houser, in 1886. It was a prosperous Missouri farmhouse built at the edge of town. Frank Peck purchased the sight in 1935 and redesigned it in the Williamsburg style. Although Peck died in 1977, the residence is often referred to as the "Peck home."

Steve and Mary Ann Wasser's home located at 302 East North Street and the Finke Theatre located at 315 North High Street. This home is often referred to as the "Embry home" as it stayed in the Embry family's name for almost 75 years. It was a furniture store built in 1850 by Lasley Lucas Wood, an early community leader.

The Finke Theatre was conceived during the post Civil War era known as the "Golden Age of Theatre." Citizens of California wanted an opera house so a subscription company was formed in January 1884 to raise money for the project. Henry C. Finke became its treasurer. The magnificent Opera House opened on Friday, Aug. 14, 1885, with a "Grand Concert" followed by a ball. California Progress Inc. has restored the theater and the show season is in its second year. This year the theater building is 125 years old.

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