Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

Historic Watertown Tour of Homes set for Sunday

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Former Watertown police chief Ray Quibodeaux and his wife Susan owned this building prior to Jay and Lisa and once had a Cajun restaurant and an antique shop, Lisa said.

“Jay is a licensed contractor and did most of the work himself,” she said. ‘The loft apartment has 50-plus year-old heart of pine flooring and new bamboo flooring. It features Venetian plaster walls in living room with 7-inch crown molding throughout.

“Granite countertops and cherry cabinets highlight the kitchen. Every room has glass and crystal chandeliers. There is 1,500 square feet of luxury space in the loft with another 1,500 (square feet) in the restaurant below,” Lisa added. “The loft has two bedrooms and two full baths with walk-in closets and large tiled showers.”

In the living room, four windows overlook the Square which is great for people watching. This room features original brick on the walls. A rooftop deck with grill and fireplace make it a separate room all its own, opening from a staircase which climbs out of the master bedroom.

“This home also features handmade drapery, original antiques, historic doors with original locksets and handmade furniture by Michael Summers and artwork from the local artists such as William Hunter, David Reimans and Marti Snell,” she said.

Next, just across the Square and a block down Depot Street, is the Watertown Bed and Breakfast, a charming mid-Victorian home.

It was built as a private residence in 1898. But by 1912 it had been enlarged and brick veneered and was a railroad hotel, noted current owner, Sharon McComb.

“Since the train station was just down the street, drummers would stay at the hotel, rent a horse at the livery next door and go about east Wilson County peddling their wares,” she said. 

By 1939 it was again a private residence and boarding house and continued as such until 1985 when it was sold at auction.

Sharon and her husband, Bob McComb, bought it in 1988. They worked on their apartment in 1989 and moved to Watertown that December. 

The home was opened as a bed and breakfast in 1991 with three guest rooms.  “By 1995 it was completed with five guest rooms. The B and B has welcomed guests from 45 states and 18 foreign countries,” Sharon said.    

The third stop on the tour will be the home of Paula and Gary Reynolds who moved to LaVergne three years ago from South Portland, Maine. “We moved to Watertown 18 months ago, when Gary discovered Watertown as he was driving through looking for fishing and boating spots,” Paula said. 

Their house on Statesville Road was built in 1934. In 2007, they restored the original wood siding outside and original hardwood floors in the main room and dining room, she noted.

“We also saved and restored most of the woodwork and added two bathrooms,” she said. “Since we enjoy antiques, our home has many family heirlooms and other special antique pieces.”

Gary is retired and Paula works at Eddie Bauer in Lebanon. 

The fourth stop on the tour is Thorneview located on the Rocking T Ranch on Bass Road. This 300-acre cattle ranch is the setting of Gary and Denise Thorne's hand-hewn limestone home. Built in 2006, the house is situated on top of one of the many rolling hills.

“The view of the surrounding countryside is breathtaking to say the least,” Denise said. The entrance is an arched 7-foot double front door leading into a marble and granite foyer, which features a large painting by Denise.

“The painting is an English Hunt scene, with colors which serve as the inspiration for the remaining décor,” she added. “To the right of the foyer is the sitting room, where a silhouette family tree graces the wall over the piano.”

Other interesting features of the home are the massive stone fireplace in the den. The single stone 8-foot mantel and 6-foot lintel were salvaged from the old Highland Heights School.

Three walls of the room feature a hand-painted mural which continues the outside hills and landscape, again painted by Denise.

“The dining room table will be set for a family Christmas Eve dinner,” she said. “And a corner cupboard contains a gingerbread replica of the house.”

A formal rose garden, with reclaimed granite cobblestone and sculpture, is located in the west yard. Natural greenery, harvested onsite, of boxwood, cedar and rosemary decorate this home for Christmas.

Parking at this residence will be limited to the cul-de-sac on Bass Road with a shuttle to the house. There will be guided 20-minute tours of main floor only, Denise said.

The last stop on the tour is the home of Lee and Amy Bond and their daughters Alyssa, 8, and Logan, 2, on Fite Road. It was previously part of the Fite farm and is on 14 acres atop a hill with Gatlinburg-type views

The Bonds are originally from Westmoreland. “But we have lived in the Lebanon/Watertown area for our entire marriage of 11 years,” Amy said.

 The house is currently on the market, because the family wants to move to the Lakeview area, which is closer to Amy’s work and would be a central location for Lee’s work.

“The house is in a private location,” she said. “Even though neighbors are still within walking distance, the trees give it all the feel of privacy.

“From the hill you can see the Watertown fireworks during July 4th – not to mention a great display from a nearby neighbor on Statesville Road,” Amy added.  “During ball season we vaguely hear the announcements in the distance and the roar of the crowds.”   They can also hear the train in the distance on the infamous ‘train days’ in Watertown when the Excursion Train comes to town. “Careful coming up the drive. Deer  love to nest by it,” she warned. 

The bonus room is 700 square feet, and the only room upstairs. “The upstairs is not only Lee’s office, but also home to the pool table and plenty of seating for the monthly UFC fights,” she said.

The dining room is a converted exercise room. The kitchen has two ways to exit and is perfect for a natural flow of visitors or for the occasional buffet line. The master bath was designed by Amy. It includes his and her closets, double sinks, vanity for her, shower wide enough for the whole family and tub for two when needed. The toilet is in its own room with a door.

“Growing up, we both (Lee and Amy) shared rooms with siblings and/or fought over which room we should have,” Amy said with a chuckle. “So this house was designed with rooms that are mirror images…same size, same closet, separate sink areas with a shared Jack and Jill bath and toilet.”

Some of the residences are not accessible for wheelchairs or strollers. Officials with Historic Watertown said they are sorry for any inconvience.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at

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