The silver anniversary of Apalachicola’s Home and Garden Tour turned out to be golden.

Bella Rudo, who handles marketing and media for the event, said more than 750 people took in the tour, typical of the annual affair that continues to grow and flourish.

“The tour was very successful, we got very positive feedback from guests on comment cards,” she said. “Of course we had fabulous weather. We couldn’t ask for better weather.”

With over 300 auction items, including vacation packages in New Hampshire and on St. George Island, as well as an exquisite collection of china, the silent auction added to the luster of the event.

An announcement at Trinity Episcopal Church Sunday morning said that more than $40,000 was raised, all of which will go towards the cost of restoring and preserving the historic church, rectory and Benedict Hall.

The featured house on the tour, built by the Ruge family, and then owned by the Willis family and now Mariterese and Pat Balthrop, drew lots of visitors. “It was exceptional, special and unique, the feedback was outstanding,” said Rudo, noting that the cool water and delicious cookies offered to guests on the wraparound porch were an added treat.

“We went from one of the biggest houses in Apalachicola to what we consider some of our smallest homes in Apalach,” said Rudo. “And we had great houses in-between. A lot of people said they love that. They love the diversity, not a cookie cutter of all giant homes. It’s a nice variety so it shows them what Apalachicola’s really about.”

Featured this year on the tour were:


Jasmine Corner and Garden owned by Constance Peck at 147 Avenue B
Marshall-Power House, owned by Anne Power at 169 Avenue B
Snelgrove-Royland House, owned by Martha Elliott and Bob Roylance, at 161 Avenue C
Pierce Garden and Fruit Orchard, owned by Alan Pierce at 183 Avenue D
Jumonville House, owned by Karen Jumonville and Jay Townsend, at 120 Dr. Frederick S. Humphries Street
Olson House, owned by Pete Olson, at 215 Ninth Street
Bay Bungalow, lived in by Karen Kessel, at 15 ½ Eighth Street
Coots Cottage, owned by Susan and Don McClure, at 111 Avenue B.