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Walking tour of historic Tarpon homes this weekend

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Published:   |   Updated: May 14, 2014 at 04:25 PM

— A special tour this Saturday will highlight a group of historic homes around Spring Bayou.

The Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society has collaborated with the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs Campus to stage the daytime event.

Guides will lead groups from 10 a.m. until noon to several Victorian homes around Spring Bayou, an area referred to as the Golden Crescent.

The partnership arose from an art exhibit on display at the museum and its relation with awell-know house in the city, Innes Manor. “An Arts Legacy: George Inness, Jr. in Tarpon Springs” debuted at the facility on May 4 and runs through the end of August.

“We’ve had walking tours in the past, but it’s been quite a long time since we’ve done this,” said Phyllis Kolianos, vice president of the historical society. “Leepa-Rattner actually asked us specifically if we would do this in collaboration with their exhibit opening.”

Inness Manor, at 34 Orange St., was the winter home of American landscape painter George Inness Jr. Tour participants will be able to view the property and peer into the studio which Inness worked.

While guests aren’t permitted to enter Inness Manor, Kolianos said, full access will be available for other buildings, such as the Safford House, the Fleming House and 1910 Inn.

Saturday’s tour and others in the past allow Tarpon Springs to differentiate itself and its history from other nearby areas, Kolianos said. “Tarpon Springs is the first established city on the Pinellas peninsula and we have this grouping of Victorian homes which are unique in their setting.”

A staging tent will be set up on the empty lot at Spring Boulevard and Tarpon Avenue. A donation of $12.50 is encouraged for participation, with funds going toward the historical society’s operating budget.

After the walking tour around Spring Bayou, guests can bring their ticket stubs to the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art for free entry into the Inness exhibit.

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