Fairmount Historic District Mother’s Day Tour Features Home With Interesting Lineage

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When you buy a historic home, you purchase it with the understanding that some day, at some time, you’re going to need to throw down some simoleons. This wasn’t a problem for Tony Sims, who bought 1901 Fairmount in 1992 and started work on restoring the home from a duplex to a single-family home.
And then in 2006, disaster struck. A giant hackberry tree fell on the house, and that’s when the real work started.
Not only have Tony and his wife, Amy, poured hours of labor and truckloads of love into their home, but they’ve also tried to preserve the historic charm that made the pair fall in love with the house in the first place.
You can see this home and eight other beautiful historic properties this weekend during the Fairmount Historic District’s annual Mother’s Day Home Tour. You can buy tickets for $15 in advance on the home tour website, or you can wait until the last minute and purchase them for $20 the weekend of the tour.
Or, you could try your luck tomorrow, May 5, and enter to win a pair! Stay tuned for that!
But first, let’s learn more about this incredible historic home that the Simses purchased …


CandysDirt.com: What room or design element of your home will stand out to home tour goers?

Tony Sims: We tried to make the entire house show the western/Texas motif we both love. Since 2005, when Amy and I married, that has been our desire. Lots of original artwork.

CD: Is there any feature or finish in your home that tour goers shouldn’t miss? IMG_1094

Sims: There are a few items that really stand out. The hand-decorated downstairs bath door, the pink legs on the claw-foot tub upstairs, the 1948 Philco TV that has been in the family since it was new, the kitchen countertops made from old bowling alleys — just a lot of really interesting stuff.
CD: If you had to choose one spot — inside or outside — on your property where you could spend all day, where would it be and why?
Sims: We could spend all day sitting on the porch swing on the front porch and watch the neighbors walk by, or when it’s too hot, back to the “Cowboy patio” in the back and watch the critters.

CD: What are you doing to prepare for the home tour?

Sims: Amy’s cleaning her giant closet, which has a story all its own, and re-arranging all the artwork. We need to add a room to hang it all. It gets rotated every so often.
CD: What construction or renovation have you completed since you moved in? In what ways have you put your fingerprint on your home?
Sims: I restored the home in 1992 from a duplex. When Amy and I married, we started moving things around to make the flow work better. In 2006, a huge Hackberry fell on the house, and that’s when the real renovation started thanks to the insurance company.  Do you know how hard it is to find a craftsman that understands lathe and plaster? Pulling 100-year-old wallpaper down and repairing original plaster took a year to complete.
CD: Is there any history behind your home? Your neighborhood? Care to share?
Sims: I have researched the history of the house all the way back to the Spanish Land Grant of 1824.  Just went crazy and couldn’t quit.  There have only been six families that lived here since 1912, each one with interesting stories. One interesting thing is that Luke Short’s brother bought the two lots the house is on for speculation. Luke had the last gunfight in Fort Worth in front of the White Elephant Saloon. Doctor Lee Slauter was the first Osteopathic Doctor to come to the city in the 1880s.
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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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