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Posted: 12/04/13


2013 ORNAMENT.
Above, Tom and Eileen Offer of Romeo stand in front of their 1849 Gothic Revival home that was chosen to be commemorated as the 17th edition of the Romeo Village Series holiday ornament. The ornament is sold by the Romeo Historical Society as a fundraiser.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Gothic Revival home
subject of new ornament

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Tom and Eileen Offer of Romeo, along with any interested residents, can add a unique representation of their 1849 home to their Christmas trees.
       The Offer's home on N. Main Street has been commemorated as the 17th edition of the Romeo Village Series holiday ornament by the Romeo Historical Society.
       "We're very honored and very proud to be chosen as the ornament this year," Eileen said.
       Each year, the society selects a historic home in the village and transforms its architecture into a collectable ornament. The ornaments are sold as a fundraiser for the society.
       Tom, a retired engineer, said he was impressed by the accuracy of the brass ornament. The ornaments are designed based on photographs of the home.
       "I examined this thing in detail and what fascinates me is their ability to reproduce with this technology that they have the exact details of the home," he said. "It's quite unique."
       The home was built in 1849 by Dr. Watson Loud, who practiced medicine in the residence until 1852 and lived in the home until he died in 1895. His daughter and her husband lived in the home until 1929.
       True to the Gothic Revival style, the home features arches and resembles a cross when viewed from above. The home also features a wrap-around porch.
       The Offers moved into the home in 1987, restoring and redecorating but staying true to the home's original design and time period.
       The home has been featured in 1993 and 1999 by the Romeo Historical Society on its former fall home tours and once on the Christmas Home Tour in 2009. Eileen said her experience with interior designing and antiques has helped.
       "We both love American history and architecture, and when you buy these old homes and live in them this long you become part of the history of the home and it becomes part of you," Eileen said.
       Tom said they learned a lot about the home's history when the great-great-granddaughter of Loud visited them in 1993 and provided a book detailing a 300-year history of the Loud family in America, including the home.
       "We feel very connected to the home and to the Loud family," he said. "We feel we're carrying on the tradition and interest that Dr. Loud had in building the house."
       The ornament sale is the second-largest fundraiser for the society, just behind the annual Christmas Home Tour. The funds collected go toward maintaining three museums, scholarships and new exhibits.
       The Offers, members of the Romeo Historical Society, said they recognize the importance of fundraisers and activities like the ornament sales. In fact, Tom has impersonated Loud during the society's cemetery tours.
       "I think the main thing for us is the feeling of being a part of a community that values the past," Tom said. "So many of the people here share that value."
       The ornament is $22 each and available at Connelly's Creations, Two Romeo Girls and Town Hall Antiques and Mall Cafe.
       For more information, call (576) 752-4111 or visit www.romeohistoricalsociety.org.


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