The Smyrna 250 Committee is sponsoring a tour of 12 of the town's most notable and distinctive homes, one dating back to 1713, on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 1-6 p.m., to benefit the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association and Historic Belmont Hall.

During Smyrna High’s Homecoming weekend, a new event is being offered in celebration of Smyrna’s 250th anniversary.

The Smyrna 250 Committee is sponsoring a tour of 12 of the town’s most notable and distinctive homes, one dating back to 1713, on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 1-6 p.m.

A brochure which describes the homes and a badge for admission to these homes is available at Smyrna Cards and Gifts, 16 S. Main St., in downtown Smyrna. The cost is $15 through Oct. 15 or $20 after that date.

The brochure and badge can also be ordered through the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association by calling (302) 653-6449.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association and Historic Belmont Hall.

The Smyrna 250 Committee is associated with the Smyrna-Clayton July 4th Foundation. The committee has met monthly since August 2017 to organize a varied schedule of family-friendly events celebrating the town’s rich history.

The committee has raised $54,527 to fund events and activities. For more information about the committee and upcoming events, visit Smyrna250 on Facebook or call (302) 653-6449.

Parking and dining options

Free public parking is available at the following lots:

• Municipal lot accessed by Foxwell Avenue off South Main Street,

• Smyrna Public Library parking lot south of the library and Smyrna Opera House on South Main Street,

• Market Street Plaza in front of Smyrna Town Hall and the post office,

• Municipal lot off of North Main Street north of Commerce Street.

Public restrooms are available in the Smyrna Wellness Center at the corner of South Main Street and East South Street.

Lunch and dinner downtown can be purchased at the Lemon Leaf Cafe at 2 N. Main St., with a 10 percent discount to tour participants, and at Sheridan's Irish Pub, 44 W. Commerce St. Dinner is can be purchased at Maverick Texas BBQ at 19 W. Commerce St.

About the homes

Among the houses on the tour, one was the home of a prominent Revolutionary War Hero and spy who fought with George Washington.

Another was featured on the cover of Antiques magazine and is believed to have been a station of the Underground Railroad.

Several of the homes date to the Victorian era and represent a number of styles, including Italianate, Queen Anne and Carpenter Gothic. These were constructed by the town’s prominent citizens of their time, including merchants, doctors and clergy.

One even comes with an enchanting, yet tragic, love story.

More than half of the homes have never been open for previous tours, while others have not been open for many years.

Homes can be visited in any order, and participants can spend as much time as they wish at any site until closing at 6 p.m.

Also available is a self-guided walking tour booklet by Beth Ross, funded through a grant from the National Park Service. The tour includes 21 historic structures, a detailed history of the town, a glossary of architectural terms and a map of the historic district. Free copies are available at several downtown stores. Visitors are encouraged to return and enjoy the tour at their leisure.

Museum open during tour

The Smyrna Museum, at 11 S. Main St., will be open during the house tour and is open to the public, not just tour participants. Admission is free.

The Duck Creek Historical Society, which owns and operates the museum, has been an effective advocate over the years in preserving Smyrna’s rich history.

The museum is located in “The Barracks,” an impressive Georgian brick structure, dating from the 1790s, and was the site of the Civil War draft lottery in Smyrna.

On the museum property is “The Plank House,” which was relocated to its current site from North Main Street, and is a very early example of Delaware architecture.

The museum features exhibits and displays of local history, and Smyrna’s 250th Anniversary limited edition book will be available at the museum for $20.