Spread holiday cheer at Carnegie Library Christmas Home Tour

Celinda Hawkins Managing editor
The Alejandro home is one of four homes on the Carnegie Library Christmas Home Tour slated for Sunday.

It is time to spread holiday cheer and what better way to do that than to tour four homes, a newly created art studio and a rustic church this Sunday during the Carnegie Library Christmas Home Tour.

The tour will be held from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday and will feature the Bell, Alejandra, Turner and Bickel homes as well as the Glory Road Cowboy Church and the White Barn Studio in Ballinger.

A reception will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Midwest Artist Guild at 108 S. 9th St.

The event is sponsored by Raymond James Financial Services and the Carnegie Library Board. Tickets are $10 each and are available the day of the event or at the Carnegie Library or from any board member. All proceeds benefit the Carnegie Library. For more information, call the library at 325-365-3616.

Travis and Hillary Bell

1118 County Road 287

     The home of Travis and Hillary Bell was built in in the 1800s. Additions were made to the home in the 1930s and then again in the 1940s when rock was placed on the outside. Sally Buxkemper purchased the home from Harvey Schroeder in 2011 for a ranch house.

Sally and her daughters remodeled the home, opening up the living room and kitchen, updating the bathroom, refinishing the floors and adding the tile. Travis Bell moved into the house in December of 2013 and Hillary Bell moved into the house in September 2015. “We love our home at the ranch and we are so excited to share the Christmas spirit with everyone!” said Hillary Bell.

Glory Road Cowboy Church

County Road 223 County Road 293

Myron Halford, Preacher

     Glory Road Cowboy Church was established in early 2008 by a group of local people who believed there was a need for a Bible based church that met the needs of the cowboy culture. The church first began meeting with a group of about eight to 10 people, at the old Ballinger roping arena.

     After weathering a cold spring at the arena, an available building was rented downtown, at the present location of Cason Mercantile, where services were held for about two years. In April 2010, a building was completed at County Roads 223 and 293 (near the Valley Creek crossing). Myron Halford came on board as pastor shortly after services began in the new building, and still serves in that capacity.

     A roping arena was completed in 2015, and the church holds various cowboy events throughout the year, including team roping, steer riding, mutton busting, and play day events. “We also frequently include arena games and activities for kids who don't ride, such as boot scramble, ribbon pulling, etc.,” Halford said.

     Due to an increase attendance, construction on a new sanctuary began in the spring of this year and has just been completed for a few months. Services at GRCC begin at10 a.m. eachSunday.Wednesday night Bible study begins at6:30 p.m. For more information about Glory Road Cowboy Church, contact Myron Halford at 325-365-6371.

Enrique and Amelia Alejandra

300 County Road 4591

     Norval and Glenda Meredith built this ranch style house and in 2015 Enrique Alejandra bought it from them. The house has a living area and dining room, both with beautiful rock fire places. The home also features a beautiful entry way with doors on both ends. The front entrance includes a large front porch and the back includes a large L-shaped porch which is used for outdoor entertaining.

The home features very spacious kitchen and utility room off of it. The home also has a large beautiful master bedroom with large closets and a bath. There are two bedrooms and two baths on the second floor. The Alejandras have had the porches and first level of house totally redone to suit their taste. Enrique and Amelia hope everyone will enjoy seeing their home on the home tour.

Randy and Ginger Turner

800 9th Street

     The home of Randy and Ginger Turner is described as “a sweet clapboard home” built in 1904 which is now 112 years old. The home features three bedrooms, two baths, and a formal dining room and living room with a special added sun room. It contains its original hardwood floors.

The home is detailed in massive amounts of wood work and features the original 1904 hand blown glass windows and one original stain glass front window. The sweet front porch welcomes everyone to the front door. The home was named Savannah in 1998 by our seven year-old son, Casey. “We truly love it and hope to you will too,” Ginger Turner said.

Jim and Charlene Bickel

808 N. 8th Street

     Mr. and Mrs. Trail originally owned the home owned by Jim and Charlene Bickel. They also owned the Trail Ranch south of Paint Rock. The Trails were the parents of Francis Trail Zappe and Mrs. Zappe was married to Hubert Zappe. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Zappe are Pat Zappe and Elaine (Wade) Zappe Clifton.

     Dr. Cooke purchased the house in the late 60s and converted it to a doctor's clinic with a waiting room, X-ray area, exam rooms and doctor's office. Jim and Charlene purchased the house from Dr. Cook in the mid-1970s and converted the clinic back to a home. Charlene and Helen Earnshaw were the interior designers and Jim Bickel and many volunteers were the work hands. Harry Tinkler also did a lot of the renovation. The house is timeless with interior design, furniture and decorations.

Stan and Gayle Bickel and Charlsa Franz would like to honor Jim and Charlene Bickel by sharing their home with the community. Charlene and Jim were strong supporters of the Carnegie Library.

White Barn Studio

714 Hutchins Avenue

     Quilters and scrap-bookers love to “get away” for a few days to dedicate time to their favorite special hobby. White Barn Studio Retreat Center, located at 714 Hutchins Ave. in historic downtown Ballinger, provides the perfect environment for this endeavor. White Barn Studio recently opened next to The Quilt Shop. The building has been home to jewelry, clothing and gift shops, restaurants and more through the years. Phil and Myra Sonnenberg began the adventure to create the studio over one year ago and it now provides an updated center for crafters. The White Barn Studio has original wood flooring, barn rafters, and tin ceilings. The studio also showcases a collection of custom-made barn doors from NM Woodworks.