The original stone house constructed by local stonemason George Creel is among the vintage structures featured in the Second Annual Homes Tour of Historic Indian Rocks Beach, being held Saturday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Indian Rocks Historical Museum and the City of Indian Rocks Beach.
This year's tour includes 6 historic cottages, a contemporary home built in the old Key West style, a group of early tourist cottages, and one of the first places of worship on the barrier islands… a total of 9 places to visit.
The 1937 stone house on 12th Avenue was the first such house constructed by local stonemason George Creel. Creel used the house as a residence and the two adjacent cottages contained Creel's office and a garage where he housed cement and dump trucks for his house-building operations. Creel constructed stone houses all over the country during the World War II years. At least a dozen of the unique structures survive in and around IRB.
Two homes featured on the tour, the Goetze house (1916) and Moody-Tong house (1917), have intertwined histories that figure prominently in the area's residential development. The Goetze house was originally a one-room real estate office owned by L. B. Moody, and today's Tong house was Moody's residence. Moody played a major role in developing the island's first major subdivision, Haven Beach, and was active in the real estate booms of the 1920s and 1950s.
The Flagg/Meyer house is a contemporary home that fits the unique cottage character of Indian Rocks Beach… on an expanded scale. The spacious three-story home incorporates contemporary features and amenities, yet retains the charm and informality of the small beach house it replaced.
Calvary Episcopal Church was one of the first places of worship on the barrier island. It's first permanent home was a converted Navy barge brought to the area by developer Robert Brown. Brown's dredging operations created the fingers of land that comprise much of IRB's waterfront property on the Intracoastal.
On display in the church are a number of spiritual-themed paintings done by the renowned group of local plein aire cottage artists.
Tour goers will also visit a 1934 beach house that was nearly washed away by Hurricane Elena, a 1960s vintage Florida ranch style home that has been transformed into a quaint cottage, an "Old Florida" tourist resort, and the historic IRB museum house which is a 1930s former beach cottage.
Tour guests are also invited to a complimentary wine tasting following their tour at Impressive Designs gallery, located just south of the museum.
Advance purchase of the home tour is available at the museum for $15; tour day price is $20. Further discounts are available for museum members. The museum is located at 203 Fourth Ave.
For more information, call 595-7006 or 593-2686.