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Three house museums to open for tours

This Saturday, May 18 marks the annual opening of the 3 Pontiac House Museums for free public tours.

The homes are all administered by the Livingston County Historical Society, which provides volunteer docents. They will be open on the 3rd Saturday of each month through October from 1-3 pm. Hours for special holiday season tours will be announced at a later date,


The Jason Strevell House at 401 W. Livingston St, built in 1858 was accepted to the National Registered of Historic Places last year due to it's unique architecture, It's owner in 1860 was a Pontiac attorney who was a friend of Abraham Lincoln who visited in early 1860. Currently the home features donated period antiques, locally produced artwork and a number of Lincoln related exhibits. The Strevell House as well as the Jones House were each rescued from demolition by local residents and extensive remodeling over a period a years result in them each being accepted to the NRHP. 


The Jones House at 314 E. Madison St. is the oldest brick residence still remaining in Pontiac, having been built in 1858. Through the years the home was owned by some of Pontiac's most prominent residents. It currently is furnished with a variety of donated antiques and features exhibits on a number of Pontiac residents including Thomas Googerty. The Pontiac native was instrumental in developing wrought iron working in America in the late 19th through the mid 20th Century. A working Melodeon is also on display. 


The Catherine V. Yost House and Museum was built in 1898 by Pontiac attorney and politician Zoath Yost for his wife and 3 children. All of the articles in the home were owned and used by family members. Featured prominently throughout the home are paintings by middle child Catherine, a prolific artist.. Also, featured are selected paintings by a number of local grade school art class students. The popular exhibit shows the student's interpretations of some of Catherine's paintings. Outside and available for walkthrough any time is a Victorian Garden managed by Master Gardener volunteers. They have planted a variety of Heirloom plant varieties. They appear much as they would have when the Yost Family lived there down to the exact varieties of plants they would have had available  to plant in the flower garden. 


Each of these homes was the subject of separate books published last year by Historical Society President Dale Maley. He researched each home and the families that resided in them Using property tax ,  census, and military records as well as newspaper accounts of local events, Maley has been able to bring together many varied elements to trace each home from the mid-1800/s until today. Each of the books is on sale for only $25.00 and all of the proceeds are donated to the Historical Society.



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