Home Tour Will Feature Five Architectural Gems
The early century oil exploration produced the magnificent 4,000-square foot mansion located at the south end of Maple Avenue. The home known to many in the area as the Coogle home was purchased by Charles and Betty Shepard in 1961. It is one of five homes to be featured on the tour of five unique homes in the New Martinsville area scheduled for Dec. 6, sponsored by ArtsLink, the arts council of Wetzel and Tyler counties. The previously listed sixth home, the Christen home in Beechwood Estates, was withdrawn due to illness in the family.
The five magnificent homes capture the style of today and yesterday. Four are classic Victorian homes in downtown New Martinsville and one is a modern architectural gem in Beechwood Estates east of New Martinsville. The Beechwood Estates home belongs to John Charles and Trish Mensore. The Victorian homes include the Magnolia House B & B, the McEldowney house owned by Betsy Chandler and the above-mentioned Charles Shepard home, all on Maple Avenue, and the home of Harry and Fran Caldwell on Eliza Street, the only brick street left in the city.
The $10 self-guided tour will be held in conjunction with the free exhibit of Nativity scenes from around the world at the Francis Creative Arts Center, Maple Avenue and Washington Street. Advanced tickets for the tour, which will run from 3-6 p.m., may be purchased from Occasions Gifts on Main Street, Off the Wall on state Route 2, or from Fran Caldwell at 455-5092. Tickets may also be purchased at the Francis Center on the day of the tour. Visitors may view the free Nativity exhibit, enjoy light refreshments, and head out on the tour.
The Shepard home was built around 1901 by an oil man known as Fishel. The three-story house has 4,000 square feet with a large center hall and a four-flight staircase to the large open room on the third floor. Two sections of a stained glass window in the stairwell are visible from the rear and there is ornate woodwork throughout. The Shepards purchased the home from Charles and Edith Coogle, whose family owned and operated the New Martinsville Supply, an oil well supply company. Many old-timers still refer to the property as the “Coogle House.”
Proceeds from the event benefit ArtsLink activities, including concerts, exhibits, classes, and many free school activities. While the homes tour is not necessarily universally accessible, the Francis Center is. Persons with special needs may contact Donna Earley, administrative coordinator, at 304-455-2278 for assistance.