Victorian Home tour to recognize Civil War heritage

The Nesbit Mansion, built circa 185. Owned by Kevin and Cindy Schoolcraft.

The Nesbit Mansion, built circa 185. Owned by Kevin and Cindy Schoolcraft. Photo by Dean Asher.

The Fulton Heritage Trust’s annual Victorian Christmas has a slightly more specific focus this year.

In recognition of the Civil War’s 150-year anniversary, the annual home tour will highlight Fulton’s antebellum homes and rooms.

The tour begins at 5 p.m. Dec. 1 at Cornerstone Antiques on Court Street, and will feature the Robnett-Payne House, 223 East 5th St.; The Nesbit Mansion, 530 Old Jefferson City Road; the Wren-Cherry Bungalow, 224 West 6th St.; the Loganberry Inn, 310 West 7th St.; and the Martin-Harris-Matthews House, 815 Court St., before finishing with music at the Country Club at 7:30.

Vicki Backer McDaniel, president of the Trust, said that as an added bonus, tour guests who chose to ride the buses shuttling between locations will get a narrated tour of other antebellum homes, rooms and Civil War-related buildings in Fulton.

“We’re highlighting antebellum homes as much as we can,” she said. “This will be the only year we do a Civil War recognition, and there are several houses with even older rooms that have been surrounded by newer houses, or ones that for some reason or another didn’t make it to the tour, and we’d like to point those out.”

Another extra used to bring the history of the homes alive will be live re-enactors from the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Reuben H. Bullard chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, stationed at each of the homes on the tour.

“I think it’s a little bit different than what we’ve done before,” said McDaniel. “I hope it’s an attraction for (people) and it makes (the homes) more interesting.”

Though two of the homes on the tour itself are not from the antebellum period, all homes on the tour have a strong history that should prove interesting to history buffs. The Robnett-Payne house stood across from a Union camp and played host to the outlaw Jesse James, and the Nesbit Mansion, and the Nesbit Mansion stood near the site of the Battle of Overton Run. The Wren-Cherry Bungalow and the Loganberry Inn both feature original architecture and fixtures popular from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Martin-Harris-Matthews House is even a piece of antebellum history that people could make home — the building is for sale through Century 21-McDaniel Realty.

Even the Fulton Country Club, open as the music location at the end of the tour, has an antebellum past. It was built in the 1840s by Elkanah Smith.

“We have a connection to the whole event as a country. Missouri of course was a very ugly location and saw a lot of conflict,” McDaniel said. “Of course there’s our infamous Jesse, everyone in the country knows about him, but the lady in the house who had died by then was a cousin of Jesse James. This is pretty interesting.”

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