The Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley’s 30th annual Tour of Homes Dec. 7 brought members of Fort Riley and the surrounding communities into view holiday decorations in historic homes on Main Post.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” said Stephanie Harvey, Manhattan. “I come to get ideas and to see what people who have lived all over the world have in their homes. It’s always really interesting.”
Five military families opened up their homes for the tour. The Main Post Chapel, St. Mary’s Chapel and the Custer House also were opened for viewing.
“I think it’s just nice for people to see what older homes look like. Everyone now lives in new and more modern homes. To see the construction that dates back to the 1800s is often a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Julie Martin, co-chair, HASFR Tour of Homes.
The homes were completely decked out for the holiday season, with multiple rooms decorated, and, most, with multiple holiday trees.
Brenda Werner, HASFR president, said it takes a long time for occupants of the homes to decorate. Many of them started decorating before Halloween, she said.
Pat Bruzina, a docent for Quarters One and the spouse of a retired Soldier, said she once participated in the tour of homes and started decorating around the beginning of October.
“And, it takes that long to take everything down,” Bruzina added.
Many of the occupants said they felt sharing the homes with others was the right thing to do, given the homes’ rich history and beauty.
“I wanted to share this beautiful piece of history and artwork with the community. These homes really aren’t ours.
They need to be shared,” said Anne Lewis, military spouse and occupant of one of the homes on the tour.
“I feel like these homes are just a treasure, and it’s amazing to get to share them with the community,” said Jessica New, military spouse and occupant of another home on the tour.
With the event’s 30-year history, attendees also sometimes have stories to tell.
One group – three daughters and their mother – drove from Nebraska to attend the event.
The daughters brought their mother on the tour for her birthday because the family had once lived on Main Post for several years. The sisters said they thought their mother would enjoy the walk down memory lane.
“It’s just wonderful. I haven’t been back here since 1982,” said Phyllis Cuba, retired military spouse. “My kids are really enjoying the tour. It’s amazing to see people we know, and to see the upgrades and changes.”
Cuba said her husband was a dentist at Fort Riley, and their family resided on Forsyth Avenue during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Some of Cuba’s grandchildren joined her for the tour as well.
While touring Quarters One, Mary Jo Glandt, Cuba’s youngest child, encountered her old algebra teacher, Don Carrier. The group also realized they knew Bruzina, who resided on Main Post during the late 1970s and early 1980s as well.
By Jessica Healey
1ST INF. DIV. POST
Jessica Healey | POST
Mary Jo Glandt, Kearney, Neb., admires branches adorned with snowflakes in the window of Quarters One Dec. 7 during HASFR’s 30th annual Tour of Homes.