Historic boat house featured on IRB Holiday Home Tour

By Sara Belsole, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 07, 2017, 5:33 PM EST

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Indian Rocks Beach.

  • Holiday Home Tour raises funds for "Save our Cottages" documentary
  • Tour scheduled for Sat. Dec 9
  • For tickets and tour info, visit irbhome.com

Seven homes are starting to decorate for the second annual Indian Rocks Beach Homeowner's Association Holiday Home Tour.

One of the homes on this year’s tour is the more than 100-year-old boat house owned by Billy and Shera Bie. The house was built in 1912, and in 1938 Billy’s parents, Norman and Rita Bie, bought it and converted it into a real estate office and home for their six children.

Billy was the youngest of the Bie children at the time, just four years old.

"I was riding a tricycle at the time, and they gave me one can of something to bring over to help move,” Billy said. “So that was my first memory."

The Bies would have countless memories throughout the next year, including the day an 11-year-old Shera moved into town and walked into Norman Bie’s office.

"Billy was out in a canoe reading a comic book, and I remember his dad looked out and said, 'Billy, look up here and say 'hello.' And that’s when I met Billy,” Shera said.

They were friends for years, and eventually became husband and wife. The Bies created a life together in Memphis, but always returned to the boat house.

"After we married, every summer we would bring our children down,” Shera said. “Because their aunts and uncles and cousins and his parents were here. So all our children have a real emotional connection here, too."

The Holiday Home Tour raises money for the Beach Art Center and the “Save our Cottages” documentary.

"So many people drive by these homes or some of the beach cottages and don’t even know they exist,” Cris Plumlee, who serves on the Holiday Home Tour Committee, said. “So being able to get in them and hear the stories and the traditions and especially at the holiday time it keeps new residents connected to the history of Indian Rocks Beach."

The event is Saturday, Dec. 9 from 2 - 6 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit irbhome.com.