Christmas Home Tour, Market to focus on dwellings, shopping


Seven private homes and a gift market will be featured as part of the 60th Christmas Home Tour and Market on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The self-guided tour is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 2.

A booklet with tour map and full description of each home is provided to each tour participant.

Tour tickets are $30 per person ($35 per person after Nov. 26).

No refunds, and tickets are limited.

The tour ticket includes admission to the Market.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 830-990-8441.

This year’s tour features two 1800’s historic homes built by German stonemasons plus five homes reflective of the Hill Country style of architecture.

All are uniquely decorated for the season, one featuring German Christmas ornaments while another home has a tree with over 1,300 ornaments.

Musicians will be featured in several homes.

The 2017 Home Tour Sponsor is Latigo.

The Market

The Market returns this year to the Gillespie County Historical Society/Pioneer Museum Historic Sanctuary and Social Hall at 312 West San Antonio Street.

The Market will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featured will be 22 boutique vendors offering jewelry, Christmas decor, specialty foods, ladies’ and children’s fashions, herbal products, home décor, ladies’ accessories and more.

In addition, there will be a coffee bar complete with home baked goods.

Musicians will also be providing entertainment.

The 2017 Market sponsor is Fickle International, LLC.

For those just wanting to shop the Market, tickets may be purchased at the door for $5. All purchases benefit the Museum.

Following is a brief history of the homes on the tour that was provided by the homeowners and the Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneer Museum:

1855 First Methodist


Sanctuary and Social Hall

The Market

Pioneer Museum welcomes everyone to the 2017 Home Tour’s Market being held in this historical building often referred to as the Sanctuary and Social Hall.

The Gillespie County Historical Society bought the building and property, which adjoins the Pioneer Museum grounds, from the First Methodist congregation on March 1, 1978, and converted the space for new use.

The 40x60-foot church was built in 1855 using native stone quarried in Gillespie County. In 1880, the congregation built their first parsonage that can be seen to the right of the church.

The Gillespie County Historical Society has continued the preservation and renovation work on the building, recently completing a renovation of the Social Hall and Sanctuary.

Robin Brown and John Gray

Nestled between vineyards and peach orchards is the home of Robin Brown and John Gray.

Having always loved the Hill Country and Fredericksburg, this said they chose to move here and establish their retail business, Magnolia Pearl, near their home.

Their early pioneer stone home was built in mid-1800.

They purchased the property in 2012.

An addition to the main house includes a large kitchen and an upstairs master bedroom suite. Antique fabrics and objects are seen throughout the home, reflecting their passion for preservation.

They invite individuals to view the main house and to enjoy their collection of antique garden elements, which are strategically placed to add interest and charm to their property.

Mike and Lindy Bierschwale


In 1872, Lindy Bierschwale Haley’s great, great-grandfather, Heinrich Bierschwale, meticulously recorded expenses in a small leather-bound ledger as he was building his limestone rock house.

The original structure was a story-and-a half German Texan rock home with one large front stube (parlor-bedroom) where the parents slept and a large back room where the children slept.

Upstairs are two bedrooms.

The one room fachwerk cabin where the family lived during construction of the main house became the kitchen.

Lindy inherited the home from her parents, Elmer and Harriet Bierschwale.

After extensive renovations she and her family occupied the home in 1984.

This house displays a Texas Historical Marker.

Wes and Tammy Pack

Although many people believe that this “raised plantation cottage” style home was built over 100 years ago, it was actually built in 2007 and purchased by the current owners in 2012.

The home looks like a cozy small cottage, but includes 3,320 square feet laid out in a modern style open floor plan.

The Pack family enjoys going all out when it comes to Christmas. using their signature “Pink Christmas” theme.

Their 12-foot tall tree holds over 1,400 ornaments and floral picks.

Their 200-year-old log cabin next door with its cedar stay fence will also be decked out for the holidays.

David and Tina


Searching for an area to build their home which would include both an area close to town and afford plenty of outside area for their young family to enjoy, David and Tina Sawtelle found the perfect property and began construction of their home in January 2017.

An advocate of preservation, David, owner of Latigo Builders and Restoration, used reclaimed Gillespie County stone, brick and wood throughout the home.

The use of foam insulation, 10kw solar panels and a 20,000-gallon rain water collection tank all contribute toward making this a green home.

Tall ceilings, plenty of light, an extended veranda and an open floor plan make this home welcoming, a spokesman said.

Dr. John and Suzanne


The Shore home may look historical, but it is very new.

Richard Laughlin and his firm designed and built a house that echoed architectural elements of the nearby 1889 Alfred Giles designed house and at the same time incorporated the small Crenwelge house already existing on the Shore’s property.

The home has been named “La Bahia” for the blue Brazilian granite on the kitchen island. Kitchen cabinets and appliance doors are mesquite.

Floors throughout the house are reclaimed long-leaf pine. A custom designed Italian floating staircase leads to the second floor. The fence surrounding the property is a copy of an 1889 Fredericksburg fence.

This new home in the historical district remains true to the architectural style of the early builders in Fredericksburg, said a spokesman.

Bruce and Leslie Sukaly

After spending vacations in Fredericksburg, Bruce and Leslie Sukaly decided to become permanent residents.

After finding property that would give them the chance to walk to Main Street, they began construction and completed their home in 2011, moving here full time in 2013.

Built by Barry Kaiser, the exterior of the house is constructed of Lueders limestone and cedar posts.

Glass gives the house plenty of light and affords a view of the courtyard.

Concrete floors and white- washed pine ceilings have been chosen for the downstairs areas while reclaimed longleaf pine floors are seen upstairs.

The garage apartment features a sky deck with a view of nearby hills and the historic Der Stadt Friedhof Cemetery.

The backyard provides a setting for entertaining with its outdoor kitchen, fire pit and fountain.

Glen and Peggy Treibs

Glen and Peggy Treibs named their 1909 town home the “Alt Friedrichburg,” meaning Old Fredericksburg.

They purchased and restored the home in the past year.

He is the fifth generation of eight pioneer families and he and his wife have been married for 45 years.

They worked to update the house, but they wanted to keep it as close to the original house as possible. They have chosen to use only antique furniture, dishes, clothes, toys, etc. to show things from the period.

For Christmas, the couple has placed a tree decorated with 19th century and early 20th century ornaments from over a dozen local families.

Also, period gifts will be under the tree, unwrapped, just as they would have been in that era.