Three Country Cottage homes set to host Mineola holiday tour


Experience the warm feelings and happiness of a ‘Country Cottage Christmas’ with family and friends as the Mineola Landmark Commission and Junior Historians host the annual Holiday Tour of Homes Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1-4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Mineola Chamber of Commerce, at City Hall and from members of the Landmark Commission. Tickets may also be bought on the day of the tour at the front door of each tour location for $10. Participants may register for a door prize at each home, enjoy refreshments and have the opportunity to purchase fundraising items from the Landmark Commission.

There will be three homes on the tour. Bob and Sherry Murray will welcome you to their home at 1003 N. Johnson. It is a charming turn of the century farmhouse built circa 1910-15. Originally it stood alone at the top of a hill and was surrounded by acres of farmland just north of the center of downtown Mineola. In fact, a marker found during a recent survey revealed a sign pointing toward downtown which read: “Sodom, This Way.” What a colorful past!

This house was built as a true ‘dog trot’ home with an open hallway from the front door to the back porch and rooms on either side. Although the house has been modified many times over the years, the Murrays have recaptured the sense of entering a much loved and preserved vintage home. By utilizing pieces of architectural salvage from a 1910 Dallas home that was being demolished, the house returns to its roots. You will notice the porch columns, stained glass, glass doors, boxed beams and other wonderful features. Although the ceilings were lowered many years ago, the original 12’ papered ceilings remain untouched in the attic.

A second home on the tour is the Miller home. Going back to the 1930s the property that is now 913 N. Johnson was a parcel of land consisting of two lots belonging to Avie Jones. In 1933 he sold the property to C.L. Edgar. Edgar kept the lots until 1936 when he sold them to T.J. Bryant and his wife, Verdia, who built the house that stands on the location. It was a two bedroom, one bath home with a living room, dining room, kitchen and small back porch. In 1937 Grover Cleveland Smith, a former Mineola mayor, bought the house and property. It remained in the Smith family until 1983 when Bobby and Vicki Miller purchased the home. It is believed that sometime in the 1960s, the Smiths remodeled the house, upgrading the kitchen and adding a bedroom and another bath. They also attached a carport which included a laundry room. Mrs. Smith was an avid gardener and belonged to the Fannie Marchman Garden Club. In the 1970s she added a greenhouse attached to the carport. When the Millers purchased the house in 1983 they had three children. They went on to have three more children with the last two being born in the home. In the last 36 years that the Millers have lived at 913 N. Johnson, they have made various improvements to the home. It has been a great place to raise a family in a town that they truly love.

The third home on the tour is located at 914 N. Johnson and belongs to Rudy and Greta Godfrey. This home was built in 1920 and was originally just a two-room house. In 1928 it was purchased by W.B. Knight and was remodeled at that time. In 1931 it was purchased by C.A. and Eula Ivey Williams for $1,500. They owned the home until 1938 when they sold it to T. H. and Mary Lena Carroll. Donald and Helen Skinner bought the home in 1980. It was purchased in 2002 by James and Mary Ann Boggs who sold it to Graeme (Graham) and June Calow in 2009. Rudy and Greta Godfrey purchased the house in 2015 and have made it a warm and wonderful home. It is funny how this home was also considered to be out in the country at the time it was built, but has since become an icon on its corner residential lot near downtown.

These homes are rich in history and will be decorated in the cozy setting of a Country Cottage Christmas. The tour is a fundraiser for the Mineola Landmark Commission and supports projects such as Iron Horse Square and scholarships for MISD Junior Historians. It is also a service project for middle school and high school students who participate in Junior Historians.