Sunday, November 18, 2012

Six homes spiffing up for Saginaw Bay Symphony Holiday Housewalk

Saginaw Township home with salt water fish/coral tank

story and photos by Janet I. Martineau

A Bay City home with Prohibition era secrets. A mother and daughter living next to each other in Freeland, their homes dramatically different colorwise,  inside and out. And a Saginaw Township home with a salt water tank containing 25 kinds of coral and 10 fish varieties.

They are among the six private homes showcased on Thursday, Dec. 6, during the annual Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra Holiday Housewalk -- a major fundraiser for orchestra operations.

“And this year, our patrons won’t have to be driving as much as some years to see all the houses on the tour,” says Patricia Shaheen, the housewalk chair. “The two in Freeland are indeed side by side. The two in Bay City within a mile of each other on Center Ave and a side street. And the two in Saginaw Township are just off both sides of Gratiot near the Saginaw Country Club.”

As is traditional with the holiday housewalk, says Shaheen, each home will shine with Christmas decorations, and each will feature live music performances much if not all of the day -- running 10:30am to 8pm. Volunteers will give the low down on each of the homes as visitors walk through.

Bay City home with Prohibition secret
The ages of the homes vary -- from being built in 1869, with 19 rooms and eight fireplaces, to brand new in  2011 but filled with antique furniture and collectibles. 

And that Prohibition era one, built in 1923 by a wealthy scrap metal businessman, has a hidden party room and bar in the basement as well as an elegant Italian-made dining room chandelier and leaded glass in all the cabinetry.

For those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else for the day, a bus ride to all the homes, as well as a stop for lunch at either the Bay City Country Club or the Saginaw Country Club, is available for $20. Space is limited. Call the orchestra office at 755-6471 to reserve a seat.

And all patrons can present their ticket booklets that day for a buffet lunch at the Bay City Country Club, 7255 S. Three Mile Road, as well as buffet lunch or dinner at the Saginaw Country Club, 4465 Gratiot. Lunch hour at both sites is 11:30am to 2:30pm at a cost of $15. Dinner at the Saginaw site is from 5-9pm off the menu, and reservations are advised.

One of the Freeland homes also will serve as the spot for the Rudolph’s Raffle part of the event, with raffle tickets $1 each or six for $5 for the chance to win prizes donated by more than 30 area stores, restaurants and spas.

Home tour guidelines include: no picture taking, no children under 10, and the wearing of provided booties at each stop.

Advance housewalk ticket booklets are $17, and rise to $20 at the homes the day of the event.

Advance sales are at all Wildfire Credit Union branches as well as more than 20 other outlets, including Satow Drugs in Frankenmuth; Riverside Family Restaurant in Freeland; Smith’s Flowers and Gifts in Midland; Begick’s, My Secret Garden and Sweet Boutique in Bay City, and Crumbs, Horizons, The Loft/Antique Warehouse, West Side Decorating and McDonald’s Nursery in Saginaw.

Holiday Housewalk 2012 is sponsored by Meijer.

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