Site icon The Niagara Reporter


By Matt Cole

Lewiston has long been considered, by locals, to be the Hamptons of Niagara County. The quaint shops of Center Street, the elegant pre-Victorian era homes. It’s the combination of the historic and modern worlds that the community works so hard to protect and maintain. At the forefront of these efforts is the Historic Association of Lewiston, led by their president, Zack Collister. Their focus currently is the preservation of The Lewiston Museum, originally known as St Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1835.

“We have a lot of great history here. We even had the TV show Mysteries at the Museum film here,” said Collister, “The Tour of Homes is to raise funds for this building.”Last weekend, Collister and his team, along with Melissa Morinello of Sparkle Events, came together to put on The 12th Annual Lewiston Tour of Homes, a tour of five of Lewiston’s splendid homes brilliantly decorated for Christmas.

As tour buses made a continuous loop from house to house, it seemed that more than a thousand holiday tour goers were on hand to see the homes on tour this year.

For those of you who missed the event, and a chance to see some of the Christmas flair Lewiston has to offer – and perhaps use in your own holiday decor, the Reporter took the tour.

One of the crown jewels of this year’s event is the sprawling hilltop Barton House, originally built in 1807 and rebuilt in 1815, decorated by Decor by Lebec.

Just across Center Street is the historic Fairbanks Mansion, now separated into seven glorious apartments.

Once called the “Ship Captain’s House,” the 1815 mansion was the private home of Fairbanks, who also is credited with the construction of the village’s Frontier House on Center Street.

Other stops included two new builds, Villa Falsetti and the Garden Estate, and a beautifully decorated mid-century ranch affectionately called The Cozy Christmas Cottage.

Villa Falsetti was a big hit with visitors who went on the Lewiston Tour of Homes last week.

“We’ve also added bonus stops this year at St Jude’s Shrine and The Barton Hill Hotel,” said Collister. “The whole community comes together to make this happen each year. In fact we have to cap tickets each day at a thousand people. But, most of all we could not do this without our corporate sponsors.”

Run by the Lewiston Historical Association, the Lewiston Museum was built as St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the cornerstone being laid in 1835. The first rector of this historic church was the Reverend Rufus Murray, posted to Lewiston as a missionary in 1838. During this time, he documented that he provided burial services for at least three “strangers”, the euphemism for passengers on the Underground Railroad. The two adults and one “child of a stranger” were buried in unmarked graves in the Lewiston Cemetery, presumably to foil slave-catching agents and prevent exposure of the abolitionist activities of the minister and his congregation.

The Barton Hill Hotel, DiCamillo’s Bakery, Wegmans, The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Mark Cerrone Construction, Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital, and Elderwood are just some of the many companies that open their hearts and check books to this wonderful event.

If you are one of the many people who cannot wait another year for the Tour of Homes, you can look for the sister event this summer, The Lewiston Tour of Kitchens on June 3rd and 4th of 2017.

The event features five of Lewiston’s finest kitchens. Each kitchen features professionally designed tablescapes and is paired with a local restaurant and chef on hand to prepare and share some of their recipes.

Also be sure to visit The Lewiston Museum at 469 Plain Street any time of the year.

The Cozy Christmas Cottage warmed the hearts of all with holiday cheer.


Exit mobile version