The Mason History Society hosts a home visit

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MASON, Mich. (WILX) – This year, the Mason Area Historical Society Homes Tour will feature seven properties in the Mason Area. The visit will take place on Saturday October 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tickets are $ 15 per person and can be purchased in advance in downtown Mason at the Ware Pharmacy, Bestsellers Bookstore, and Maple Street Mall. All tickets still available on Saturday will be at the Museum, located at 200 E. Oak Street, and will open at 10:00 a.m.

“Many people still start their visit to the Mason Area Historical Museum,” says Doug Klein, president of the Society. “Not only can people buy their tickets there, but the building was also originally the town house of John Rayner, a prominent 19th century Freemason Citizen. It’s fun to learn about the many ways the building has changed over the decades, from a house to a church to a museum.

While specific tour locations and additional details can be found on the ticket / brochure, here are some of the highlights that will be presented:

  • A distinctive visiting house was built in 1903 on the foundation of the very first Presbyterian church in Mason, which had burned down. The Presbyterians then built the current “stone church” at the corner of Barnes and Maple streets. At the start of the pandemic, the owners refurbished all hardwood floors, including the kitchen floor. Retaining the original woodwork and plinths, they painted the interior and exterior, added a staircase, and raised the ceiling in the back room. In the back yard, they sunk a patio and did other landscaping. The backyard of the house overlooks the Ingham County Courthouse.
  • Also overlooking the courthouse is a no-elevator apartment on the third floor of the tour. It is in a historic building that has been in almost continuous use since 1873. The building housed a newspaper office, a fraternal organization meeting room and a bank. The current owners purchased the building in 2004 to use the first floor as retail space. In 2018, the second and third floors were renovated into four apartments. You will visit one of the third floor lofts available for short term rental. The stairs are steep, but your careful ascent will be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the magnificent Ingham County Courthouse.
  • With a front room that is a perfect setting for a Christmas tree, this 1890 visitor’s home has undergone renovations and updates over the decades, including those by the current owner. The two bedrooms at the front have original stained glass windows. A former mother-in-law’s apartment has been renovated to make way for an upstairs laundry room, a full bathroom and a living room ideal for bird watching. Cardinals, orioles, hummingbirds, brown warblers, nuthatches and other songbirds flit around this Victorian home of Queen Anne.
  • Built in 1939, the original structure of this visitor’s house was a one-and-a-half storey Cape Cod. Over the years, the owners have made additions to the house and added several outbuildings, including a garden house studio with an adjoining greenhouse. Several gardens and a variety of specimen trees also adorn the surrounding courtyard.
  • A more contemporary visitor’s house, originally built in 1984, was extended in 2008 and almost doubled the size of the house. It also added to its unique layout with two stairs to the lower level. The current owners bought the house in 2013 and have carried out several nice renovations, especially to the five bedrooms. While the master bedroom on the second level was originally closed, it is now a mezzanine bedroom with a small terrace, a walk-in closet and a huge bathroom with a bath, shower, jacuzzi tub and three sinks. Don’t miss the pool room, home office and sewing room located on the lower level and in the basement.

All proceeds from this event go to the Mason Area Historical Museum and the Pink School Museum, both owned and maintained by the Mason Area Historical Society, with the support of dedicated volunteers and the community.

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