racie Garcia’s house on Fifth Street, according to official records, is a
Pioneer style house constructed in 1875. Gracie disagrees, saying it
is an Italianate cottage built in 1868. Whatever its designation, the
house itself has history and Gracie’s decorating makes it truly unique.
During the holidays it takes on the trappings of a classical Victorian Christmas and
a chance for visitors to take a step back in time.
Officially known as the Baxter House, originally built by John A. Baxter, a hard-
ware store owner, the home has a detailed history of residents that Gracie can recite.
It has also long been associated with merchant families in Gilroy — a tradition that
Gracie continues with her downtown antique store, Gilroy Antiques.
Each of the rooms downstairs is hung with corner to chandelier Christmas
garlands for the holidays. A large fully decorated tree takes a place of pride in one of
the front windows. For anyone who has visited Gracie’s house you know the number
of art pieces, knickknacks, religious art, statues, paintings, and wall hangings that
are there. Consequently, it is hard to imagine that there would be any space left for
Christmas decorations, but, Gracie finds the room. And she manages to place each
decoration in just the right place. Many of her decorations are antiques or, at the
very least, have some age on them. However, a number of other items are newer
but have that distinctive Gracie flair. Many of Gracie’s decorations and art pieces
are also the fruits of her frequent travels.
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN