George and Ginger Cole and her husband bought their first historic home about three years ago.

And this year visitors to the 51st annual Gingerbread Tour of Homes will have the opportunity to pay the Coles a visit at 115 Kaufman St. in Waxahachie.

One of the Coles' main focus was to maintain the home's historic integrity, which does not come cheap. Maintaining a historic home takes a lot of time and planning as well, Ginger mentioned.

"You have to find things that are original materials," Ginger said.

Ginger noted that when something in the home is destroyed or worn down, she has to search for materials that match the original home that was built in 1913.

Wood has been one of the hardest upkeeps in the home, Ginger explained.

Her home is built with red pine which was plentiful when it was originally constructed, but now it is nearly impossible to find, she explained.

"You really have to have an appreciation of the home," Ginger said. "That's why me and my husband took it on."

Most of what they do is focus on replacing broken parts of the home with either historic replicas or if they are lucky the original.

When the Cole family took over the home, several of the 100-year-old windows were broken. Some were replaced with modern glass. To keep with the historic integrity, Ginger said she could have ordered glass from a German company that makes glass that looks aged to match the rest.

That does not come cheap, she explained.

"Most of the glass is the original glass," Ginger said. "If it's broken it's hard to replace."

Another item they had to replace was the front door. Because the original wood is hard to find, Ginger settled with a replica.

With the broken and worn items in the house fixed, Ginger said the goal now is to maintain the house's historic facade.

"The goal was to maintain the integrity of the home but make it acceptable for modern people," Ginger said.


Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty