A time-honored tradition, the historic Apalachicola Home & Garden Tour is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Trinity Episcopal Church pays homage to all those who have generously shared their homes and gardens with visitors for a quarter of a century.

Join the festivities the first weekend in May as we wow you with this year’s selections of homes and gardens. From a stately mansion and two-story homes to tiny houses, we have a delightful array of dwellings to share with you.

Co-chairs Beverley Connors and Ginger Madewell said plans are underway for the 25th annual tour, sponsored by Trinity, which is expected to attract hundreds of visitors to Apalachicola, on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.

“With great pleasure, we present the residence of Mariterese and Pat Balthrop as the featured home of the tour,” they said. “This palatial Victorian stands as a paragon of style and boasts an august history in Apalachicola.”

The dwelling, completed in 1896, was built for George and Elizabeth Porter Ruge. He was a co-partner in the Ruge Brothers Canning Company which utilized pasteurization to become Florida’s first successful seafood packer.

The property on which the resplendent home is set occupies half of a city block. A deep and wide wrap-around veranda welcomes guests to turn back their watches to a more refined and slower-paced era. Since the house was purchased in 2013, upgrades have been made to the kitchen and master bath, but the original integrity of the house has been respected by the Balthrops who are only the third owners.

The impressive foyer, with its beamed ceilings, rich heart pine floors and cypress wood paneling, culminates in an imposing staircase framed by triple-arch pilasters, setting the tone for the grand scope of the home.

The interior décor, furnishings and art are in keeping with the home’s magnificent style. Filled with artworks by American and international artists, they reflect both the diversity valued by the owners and their wide-ranging travels. Visitors will marvel at the scale and ornamentation of this spectacular house.

Evensong service at Trinity Episcopal Church, the traditional opening for the home tour, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5, followed by a reception to which all are invited. Homes will be open only on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are available at $25 each on our website apalachicolahistorichometour.org, or at the church office, through Friday, May 5.

On Saturday, May 6, tour tickets will be $30 and ticket sales commence at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon will be served at Benedict Hall on the grounds of Trinity Church from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the day of the tour; tickets are $12. Simultaneous with the tour, a silent auction will be he held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Guests to Apalachicola can enhance their weekend experience by allowing time to visit the many historical buildings and churches, museums, inns and parks that mark this historic town as a truly original locale. We welcome you to join us for the weekend and come back again and again.

For more information or ticket sales please contact Trinity Episcopal Church at 653-9550, the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce at 653-9419, or by email to info@trinityapalachicola.org