Crowd flocks to Arnold housing tour

Saturday, Arnold saw a flurry of activity as more than 100 women converged on the community center for a potluck salad luncheon. The luncheon was the opening to the annual housing tour, sponsored by the Arnold Chamber of Commerce. Those who attended were divided into groups and given directions to each home being showcased. For this year’s event, four families opened their homes to the public, with each bringing their own unique style and history to the table. Built in the 1920s, Kendall and Margie McDowell’s house has always been family owned. Many of the interior decorations are actually antiques and family heirlooms or are pieces that Margie has collected from the community. Behind the house lays an expansive backyard, which the McDowells landscaped, complete with a pond full of coy fish. In 2009, Jean Shimmer purchased her residence in Arnold, making the move to be closer to her daughter, who also resides in Arnold. The home she lives in was built in 1984 and highlights an attractive open floor plan and large finished basement. In the basement, Jean showcased her eye for collectables by displaying items ranging from a barbered wire assortment to antique children’s toys. Of the homes on tour, Andy and Patti Schwarz’s house is the most recent to change hands. The couple and their family just settled in this past May, after purchasing the home in April. Inside the home, remnants of its early 20th century construction remain. As Patti pointed out, the house retains many original structures such as its stunning ceiling beams, bay window with window seat, sunroom, and parlor. The Smith’s home is located about 10 miles outside of Arnold. It’s been in the family for three generations, since Craig and his wife Pam moved in in 1976. Various updates have been done throughout the years, with the most recent being finished the day prior to the tour. Pam told about the yearlong addition and remodeling process that had recently taken place, hinting that she was relieved it was complete. Ladies travelled from many communities within central Nebraska to attend the tour. Some of the women told of how their husbands were off deer hunting, giving them ample time for an outing. The occasion had good turnout with numerous return attendees, also attracting many newcomers as well, no doubt drawn to the lovely homes being showcased.