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AAUW tour showcases historical homes in BC

If it’s the second Saturday in December in Boulder City, it’s time for the annual Home Tour sponsored by the American Association of University Women. This tradition, now in its 38th year, takes place at 1 p.m. Dec. 14.

The idea for a home tour originated with Carole Gordon, who came to Boulder City in 1973. She had been president of a doctor’s wives organization in Philadelphia and found the home tour idea a successful fundraiser. When Gordon joined the Boulder City AAUW branch, she suggested the idea to the members as a way to raise money for scholarships.

Gordon, who founded and still operates Oaklane Academy preschool in Boulder City, said the first years of organizing the event were exciting. She continued to volunteer with the event for many years.

She and her daughter, Karen Gordon, remember one of the homes on this year’s tour was on the very first home tour. The home, now owned by Lynn and Larry Turner, was then owned by Angus and Jan MacEachern, who purchased the home in 1966, Jan MacEachern reported in an article in the 1977 tour brochure.

This year’s tour features six homes, all built in the 1930s. Following AAUW custom and to protect the homeowners’ privacy, addresses are distributed only to those buying tickets and touring the homes.

Although the homes on this year’s tour have been modernized inside or enlarged, all have been restored as much as possible, the homeowners said. Visitors on the tour will see original fireplaces, cabinets, flooring and other historic touches in the homes.

Lynn Turner said she had always wanted to have her home on one of the tours but turned down the AAUW on several occasions. The Turners previously lived in Hemenway Valley and she said she didn’t feel their homes in that area fit the tour. Since buying and renovating their current home in the city’s historic district, the Turners have come to feel a real connection to the historic area and decided to open their home to the tour this year.

The Turner home was originally referred to as “No. 1” in the early days of Boulder City because it was discovered to be the coolest spot to locate one of 13 weather stations, a project headed by engineer Walker Young, the home’s first, Jan MacEachern’s article showed.

Although the home tour remains a Boulder City tradition for a variety of reasons, the AAUW members work diligently to lure more attendees to fund scholarships for local high school seniors and women returning college.

Current AAUW President Laura Pyzer said although the organization aims to sell 400 home tour tickets this year, “the more folks purchasing tickets, the better.”

A portion of the $10 ticket price also benefits the AAUW’s Education Foundation, supporting “fellowships, dissertations and research to promote gender equity,” former President Val McNay said. Each year, AAUW strives to offer at least three $1,000 scholarships, McNay said.

The Boulder City branch of AAUW was chartered in 1942, one of the first AAUW branches in Nevada, according to its website.

Tour tickets are available at the Boulder Dam Hotel or by calling 702-294-4204 or 702-338-8862. Tickets also will be available in the hotel lobby the day of the tour before the start of the self-guided event.

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