Old and new homes in Mount Vernon are among those featured in a Home and Garden Tour on Saturday.

The tour — with optional luncheon by reservation — is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and benefits community groups in both Mount Vernon and neighboring Vienna.

Dodi Thompson, one of the organizers, says this year’s event concentrates on the village in Mount Vernon, which is marking its 225th anniversary this summer.

“People will be able to walk to most of the homes; they’re very close,” Thompson said.

Paul Crockett, who is chairman of the Mount Vernon selectmen, and his wife, Shari Hamilton, are opening their Queen Anne Victorian, which was built by Crockett’s great-grandfather in 1897.

“He was a horse-drawn carriage maker and had his factory across the street,” Crockett said. “It was one of the first houses in Mount Vernon to have a flush toilet. That was before it had electricity.”

There are five homes plus a tour of the century-old former Oddfellows Hall, now the workplace (and home) of Dutch woodworker, craftsman and designer Erik Groenhout. Only the gallery and workshop will be open for the tour so people can see the rehabilitation work that was done.

Tour tickets with brochures are available from Longfellow’s Greenhouse in Manchester, The Calico Patch, Farmington, and beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Community Center or contacting a member of the Home and Garden Tour Committee: (Charlene Lockwood 293-3150; Kathleen Kelley 293-2799; Dodi Thompson 293-2670; Sherene Gilman 293-2388)

Net proceeds from the tour will be split between the Mt. Vernon Events Committee, the Vienna Union Hall, and Vienna/Mt. Vernon Creative Women (formerly extension) and members of the groups will be guides in each of the houses.

Tours have been conducted occasionally since the first one during the 200th anniversary celebration in Mount Vernon, with about a half dozen during the intervening years.

Previous tours have attracted between 100-200 people, depending on the weather.

“We printed 250 tickets, so we’re optimists,” Thompson said.

Crockett said their Queen Anne Victorian’s turret houses a formal parlor on the first floor and a bedroom on the second.

“My great-grandfather was very technologically advanced,” Crockett said, saying his ancestor had the first crank phone in the carriage house, added one to the house, and then strung a line along the fence posts to the neighbor’s house who also wanted a phone.

“He founded the Mount Vernon Telephone Co., and I have one of the early switchboards; it’s really a skinny little thing.”

Crockett bought the house from his father in 1986. “It’s now 90 percent restored,” Crockett said. “We’re inching closer.”

The newest home on the tour is owned by Gerhard von Hauenschild on Minnehonk Lake, who rebuilt it three years ago.

“I always wanted to be on a lake. It’s a beautiful spot,” said von Hauenschild. “My friends locally convinced me it was the right lake.”

The 67-year-old von Hauenschild previously worked for the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and then Northwest and Delta airlines prior to retiring. He said he took pains to say within permit-table zoning requirements. “It turned out very, very nice,” he said.

With dozens of windows looking onto the lake, the home’s interior features a colorful interior second floor metal railings designed by local artist Bia Winter.

He has about four acres adjacent to the public beach in Mount Vernon and last year hosted a benefit for the Mount Vernon Public Library.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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