Damiens to hold Fall Home Tour

Admit it. We all have a secret desire to go into other people's homes to see what they're like - to check out different structures, colors, designs and decorations.


Admit it. We all have a secret desire to go into other people’s homes to see what they’re like - to check out different structures, colors, designs and decorations.

Once a year, the Damien Society taps into those secret desires with its annual Home Tour. For over 30 years, Damien members have worked with a handful of lakes area homeowners who are willing to open up their homes to the public.

This year the Home Tour is set for Saturday, Oct. 3, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

“And we have five absolutely beautiful homes this year,” said Jo Ellen Neitzke of the Damien Society. “We have one home on Howe Lake, one on Floyd Lake, one on Lake Melissa, one on Long Lake and one right in town on Willow (Street) and Summit (Avenue).”

Tickets for the tour are $15, and the tour can be taken in any order.


“We generally get somewhere between 300 and 350 people taking the tour,” said Neitzke, who says participation varies according to what else is going on and how the weather cooperates.

“The tour happens rain or shine, but we always hope for those gorgeous days because it can be such a beautiful drive around with all the fall colors,” said Neitzke.

In fact, Neitzke says some people make the Damien Home Tour a yearly tradition.

“I know there are some ladies who rent a limo together to do the tour that way and really have a fun time with it,” said Neitzke.

This is the Damien’s only fundraiser for the year, which they use to fund various charity projects around the area, including Thanksgiving meals for those in need, as well as family projects during the Christmas season.

“And then the rest, we give to the community through things like Hospice, the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Becker County Museum, the Holmes Theatre, the Humane Society and the food shelf,” said Neitzke.

Although the event has traditionally been one that draws a lot of women out, Neitzke says over the past few years they have seen a lot more men taking the tour as well.

I think everybody just likes to see all the decorating ideas and colors,the newest countertops and the quaintest cabin…” said Neitzke. “People are curious.”


The biggest challenge, she says, is to find homeowners willing to open up their homes to hundreds of strangers.

“But the homes are always really well staffed with Damiens, so everything is really well watched and protected,” said Neitzke, who says the Damiens work hard for several months tracking down potential homes, and their criteria is pretty open.

“It doesn’t have to be that million-dollar mansion,” said Neitzke. “We look for new, old, interesting, unique things in it - memorabilia, structure, just about anything….”

Tickets can be purchased from any Damien member or at three locations in Detroit Lakes - La Barista, Mainstream Boutique and the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. They can also be purchased at the Wild Goose in Perham, the Hostel Hornet in Frazee or at any of the homes the day of the event.

“There will be signs all over that day pointing to the houses,” said Neitzke. “I think it will be a really fun way to spend the afternoon.”

Tweets by @DLNewspapers

Paula Quam joined InForum as its managing digital editor in 2019. She grew up in Glyndon, Minnesota, just outside of Fargo.
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