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10 Beautiful Homes to be Featured in Annual Christmas Walk in Covington

Ten Victorian homes decorated for the holiday season will be open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, in Covington’s Old Seminary Square neighborhood for an annual Christmas Walk.

Tickets for this fundraiser for the Old Seminary Square Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Linden Grove will be available at the Ashbrook House, 1010 Russell Street, the northeast corner of Robbins and Russell. Proceeds will be used for projects that benefit the neighborhood and the organization that is restoring the historic Linden Grove Cemetery located about six blocks from Old Seminary Square near 15th and Holman Streets.

Twenty-two members of the Holmes High School Choir will be performing Christmas favorites during the tour.

Tickets are $20 per person, a price that includes refreshments at some of the homes. The association also is conducting a raffle for a one-week stay in a luxurious oceanfront condo in Panama City Beach, Fla. Tickets for the raffle are $20.

The Ashbrook House and the other 10 homes on the tour are located within one-and-a-half blocks of one another, creating a compact tour route that doesn’t require strenuous exercise. The tour route is U-shaped, starting on West Robbins Street, heading south on Russell and then turning east for three homes on West 11th Street.

Two of the homes on the tour are the only buildings still standing from the Western Baptist Theological Institute, which is the basis for the Old Seminary Square neighborhood name.

One of the homes is located at 1026 Russell and is known as The Sandford House, which is owned by Dan and Linda Carter. It was built in the early 1800s by Major Alfred Sandford, whose father, General Thomas Sandford, was the first Congressman to represent this region of Kentucky. He served from 1803-1807. The home was sold to the Western Baptist Theological Institute in 1835 and is the forerunner of Georgetown College in Georgetown, which is about 70 miles south of Covington.

In the late 1800s it was the home of Miss Bistrow’s Boarding and Day School for Ladies and Young Misses, an exclusive boarding school for prominent families.

The home of State Rep. Arnold Simpson and his wife Joann, who heads the human resources department for the City of Covington, at 112 W. 11th St., is believed to be the faculty house for the Western Baptist Theological Institute. Both the interior and the exterior of the house are extraordinary and the front porch features distinctive and highly detailed ironwork.

Two other homes on the tour are significant for a variety of reasons, including the prominence of the people who built the homes more than a century ago.
The John Todd House at 106 W. 11th St., owned by Joe and Dale Meyer, was built for an agent of the C&O Railroad in 1865, the year the Civil War ended. The home was purchased in 1874 by Laban J. Bradford, a tobacco merchant who served as a State Representative and on the board for the forerunner of the University of Kentucky. The home, a great example of Victorian architecture and Italianate detail, has outside dimensions of 95 feet by 30 feet and has twin 18 by 20 parlors that have 14-foot ceilings with ornate plasterwork. 

The current occupants of The Harriet Albro House at 1041 Russell are Jeff and Suzanne Anderson and their son Carter, whose personal history goes back just a few years. It was built in 1874 in the Eastlake Italianate style for Harriet Albro, the widow of a Cincinnati wood merchant. As might be expected, some of the woodwork is extraordinary. The house has been featured in The Old House Journal, which is, to some rehabbers, a bit like being mentioned by name in the Bible.

Two of the homes on the tour are now listed for sale, which provides an unusual opportunity to tour historic homes and do some house hunting.

- Staff report/Image via Facebook