Wood County Arboretum to offer holiday tours of historic house


Step back in time this month and savor the simple pleasures of the holiday season during two events at the 1869 Stinson House – a home tour and annual Christmas open house.

Tucked in the heart of the Wood County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the historic residence is adorned in its holiday finest this season, featuring designs that could delight even the Grinch himself.

Public tours are slated for noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at 175 Gov. Hogg Pkwy. in Quitman followed a few days later by the much-anticipated Christmas Open House, set for 5-7 p.m. Dec. 12.

“The open house is a tradition dating from the very beginning, back in 2007,” said Deanna Caldwell, president of Friends of the Arboretum, the hosting entity that also oversees the grounds. “This event showcases the historic Stinson house, in all its glory. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the season with all those who support us throughout the year…the true ‘Friends of the Arboretum.’”

The Dec. 8 event is open to the public and held in conjunction with the Forever Young Activity Center’s annual tour of homes, the Magic of Christmas.

The Dec. 12 open house is expected to feature appetizers and refreshments.

Visitors of both events can enjoy a host of hand-crafted décor, coordinated in a colorful nod to Mother Nature. There’s also a new gift shop, giving patrons an opportunity to select from an array of unique gifts for gardening enthusiasts.

Artist Ann Fair-Irby of Holly Lake Ranch is the creative force behind the custom decor.

“The color scheme echoes the primary colors from our new Wood County Arboretum logo, so you will see bright flashes of chartreuse green and hot pink combined with natural decorations,” Fair-Irby said. “We used a lot of dried flowers, fruits and fresh greenery as they would have done 150 years ago, when the house was first built.”

The holiday home tours are just one of many endeavors offered throughout the year at the arboretum, a 23-acre garden venue that also features a walking trail, theme gardens, tribute plantings and new Monarch way station.

For more information on the arboretum and opportunities to volunteer, visit www.woodcountyarbo.org or Facebook.com/WoodCountyArbo. Information is also available by phone at 430-235-5461 or email woodcountyarbo@gmail.com.