NEW: Bellefonte Women’s Club History On Wheels Guided Bus & Homes Tour

Bellefonte began as the “Fountain of Plenty” bubbling on and on into the Big Spring, overflowing into a stream of history. From the early days of the Iron furnaces, to the town of seven Governors, Bellefonte began as the heart of the iron industry that forged the framework for the town’s leadership and success in the community, the commonwealth, and the nation.

 

The Bellefonte Woman’s Club invites you to join them during this year’s Victorian Christmas Even to travel back in time on the History on Wheels Guided Tour that includes two historic homes. Sit back and relax, soak up the history as you are guided through the town by your Tour Hosts and Hostesses. Enjoy the many forms of architecture and wave to all the folks you see on the streets. The bus may be hailed and stopped along the way by one of the citizens from the past who will enlighten you with their unique life stories and contributions to Bellefonte.  Your final stop on the tour will allow you to visit two of our beautiful historic homes on West Linn Street.

 

After you visit the homes you can catch the event Shuttle on the corner of West Linn and North Allegheny Streets, attend the Arts & Crafts Show at the Bellefonte Elementary School, or just take a leisurely walk and continue to enjoy the architecture and the annual Victorian Christmas event in our beautiful town.

 

Advance Ticket Sales Only

$20.00 per person – Includes Bus Tour and Tour of 2 Homes

Tours begin at the Train Station – 320 West High Street

Two Buses will be available at these times:

11:00am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, and  3:30pm, 4:00pm

Pre-sale tickets & full brochures will be available at Plumbs Drug Store, Woodring’s in Bellefonte, and the Train Station.

Tickets will be available the day of the event at the Train Station in Bellefonte only!

 

This new venue is presented in cooperation with the Bellefonte Women’s Club, Tour Committee, and the Bellefonte Victorian Christmas Committee.

 

 

Bob and Tammy Shuster

“Our Fair Lady”

313 E. Linn Street

 

In 1883, John Ardell, a Bellefonte lumberman, constructed the magnificent Second Empire home of the finest local hardwoods; including chestnut clapboards, black walnut front door and banister-railing, poplar pocket doors with the original hand stippling and red and white oak floors.  Bob and Tami   Schuster purchased the home in September 2007 and commissioned a meticulous restoration which included scraping over a hundred-years-worth of paint off the chestnut siding and repainting the exterior back to its glorious “painted lady” colors, along with replacing the roof.

 

The couple met while Tami played Eliza Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady where Bob was designing and constructing the sets, so their choice of a name for their Bed and Breakfast establishment is a tribute to their beginning romance.

 

The interior restoration includes plaster refinishing, electrical and plumbing upgrades along with exquisitely tiled bathrooms that add eloquence to the beautifully furnished and decorated guest rooms.   An original doorway had been closed off and the couple has now returned the doorway to its original state.  During that same time, they revealed the chimney in the office area.  Tami discovered many interior shutters and some original doors in the old carriage house behind the main house. Tami and Bob restored them as well as the pine floors where needed.  When you enter Our Fair Lady, you will feel right at home and discover the harmony of Old World Charm with modern amenities; thus creating a simple elegance in this beautiful Victorian Home.

 

 

 

Home of Millie Ragosta

319 E. Linn Street

 

On a cold February day in 1939, a fire broke out in Bellefonte‘s 1911 High School. Fortunately everyone got out unharmed but the three-story building was irreparably damaged. The town commissioned a salvager, Edie Kofman to demolish the ruins and clear the lot of debris.

 

Mr. Kofman, a true man ahead of his time, saved thousands of long, narrow orange and brown-toned, slightly chipped bricks, hundreds of feet of 3×10 framing lumber, and steel I- beams capable of supporting the Courthouse. Instead of selling what he could and dumping the rest in a landfill, he purchased a 50×250 foot portion of the 150×250 foot lot at 313 East Linn Street upon which a Victorian lumber dealer, John Ardell had, in 1883, built a magnificent mansion. Mr. Kofman hauled all his salvage material to the site, now 319 East Linn Street upon which he built his family a spacious dwelling.

 

Millie Baker Ragosta and her late husband, Vince, bought the house in 1983 and began renovations that required immediate attention. After Vince’s Death in 1990, Millie continued the restoration, including electrical and plumbing work, refinishing the oak floors, and installing nearly invisible storm windows. Millie hired skilled carpenters from Allensville Planning Mill to build  Maple Shaker-style cupboards of her own design.

 

The living room ceiling is spanned by five enormous beams which Mr. Kofman found in a Pennsylvania barn and adzed by hand. The front steps and the massive fireplace in the living room were all constructed from the red limestone bricks from the school’s ruins.

The entire seven-room home is furnished with antiques, reproductions, Karastan Oriental rugs, and window treatments designed by her daughter Margaret Wolfe.

 

Millie continued the restoration and renovation which includes a roughly terraced yard that is nearly perpendicular and referred to as “Millie’s Matterhorn.” She has systematically removed sections and replaced them with flowering bulbs and vining plants so that no one will ever have to mow. “Vince used to say I wouldn’t be happy until there wasn’t one blade of grass on the place,” Millie remarked, “and I would answer, ‘you are absolutely right.’”   Millie tore up the last patch of grass.

 

I am now surrounded by an evergreen garden and a house made completely of salvage. My kids say I have reached my personal “nirvana.”