Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour

Madison, Ind.’s Candlelight Tour
returns with 10 stops

The tour includes four public sites,
five hospitality venues

Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes

• Dates: Nov. 23-24; Nov. 30 -
Dec. 1 in Madison, Ind.
• Tour Times: 5-9 p.m. Fridays; 3-9 p.m. Saturdays
• Tickets: $15 pre-sale through Nov. 9; then $20 after for adults. Children ages 5-12 are $5. Available at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St. and at their website. Tickets also available at The Little Golden Fox, The Primitive Porch, Madison Chamber, German American Bank (Madison, Hanover) and Jefferson County Historical Society.

• Organizing Sponsor:
VisitMadison Inc.
• Information and Tickets:
(812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956 or visit www.NightsBeforeChristmas.com

Private Homes and Businesses:
• Kinyon House, 416 W. Third St. (owners: Dr. David and Jean Kinyon)
• Wilber House, 506 W. Main St. (owners: Josh and Rielly Wilber)
• Harris-Lynch Home, 311 Central Ave. (owners:  Scott and Kathy Lynch)
• Lewis Home, 214 Baltimore St. (owners: Russ and Beth Lewis)
• Ralston Home, 318 W. Third St. (owners: Jerry and Carol Ralston)
• Marshall Home, 201 Plum St. (owners: Brian and Summer Marshall)

Public Sites:
• Lanier Mansion, 511 W. First St.
• Francis Costigan House, 408 W. Third St.
• Masonic Schofield House, 217 W. Second St.
• Jefferson County History Center, 615 W. First St.

Hospitality Sites:
• G.H. Coffee, 329 W. Main St
• Seifert Short Museum, 113 E. Third St.
• Lumber Mill Antique Mall, 721 W. First St.
• Old Tyme Marketplace, 602 W. Main St.
• The Great Cookie Caper will be held at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center from 4-7 p.m. Fridays and 1-7 p.m. Saturdays (while supplies last).

(November 2018) – Dr. David and Jean Kinyon enjoy showing off their beautiful home in downtown Madison, Ind., so much so that they agreed to be part of this year’s Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. The home, located at 416 W. Third St., was built in 1831. The Kinyons moved into the home in 2008 and have renovated the residence over the past 10 years to make it into their dream retirement home.
The Nights Before Christmas Tour of Homes is scheduled to take place on the weekend of Nov. 23-24 and again on the weekend of Nov. 30 – Dec. 1. Hours for the tour are 5-9 p.m. on Fridays and 3-9 p.m. on Saturdays. The tour will feature six private homes, as well as four public tour sites: the Lanier Mansion, the Francis Costigan House, the Schofield House, and the Jefferson County History Center.
There will be four Hospitality Sites this year, including G.H. Coffee Co., Lumber Mill Antique Mall, Olde Tyme Marketplace and the Seifert Short Museum.  The Hospitality Sites offer free refreshment and restrooms.
The Kinyon home appears modest from the street. “It looks like a home the Seven Dwarves might live in,” David Kinyon said.
However, the home extends to reveal a recently constructed portion. “The front section is the only original portion to the house,” he said, noting that the front portion of the home was used over the years as a rental.
The rear portion of the home was constructed in 2007, making the house 1,600 square feet. The Kinyon home has had about 25 owners throughout the years. One owner was notable Madison resident J.F.D. Lanier, who purchased the home in 1834 for $127 in order to resell it as an investment property.
After retiring from his chiropractic practice and after their three daughters married and moved from home, Dr. Kinyon and his wife decided to downsize. They had previously lived in two other homes around Madison but had never lived downtown.
“Jean has always wanted to live downtown, and this just seemed like the best option for us,” David. “The smallness of the home is actually what drew us to it.”

Photo by Sydney G. Wilson

This home owned by Dr. David and Jean Kinyon will be among six private homes featured on this year’s Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour.

The home holds a living room, a kitchen and dining area, a guest bedroom and bathroom, and a master bedroom and bathroom. “It reminded us of a patio home in Florida but allowed us to stay in a location close to our family,” he said.
The house has seen many updates over the years. Most recently, the Kinyons had the entire roof structure of the house rebuilt last March.
“It had the original 1831 wood structure in the roof, which needed replaced,” he said. They also had to structurally update the rest of the home and had to replace the home’s original flooring because the beams were dry rotted. “We had to take the floor down to dirt and replace it because they were in such bad condition.”
The home’s style is very personal to the Kinyons and exemplifies what David describes as an “eclectic” taste. The décor is based on their individual collections and interests. Jean’s sewing interest is proudly highlighted throughout the home through the quilts and curtains displayed in their house.
“We want the home to feel comfortable and cozy,” David said. The couple has several antiques that have been passed down through their families, including paintings created by his mother and china that has been passed through the Kinyon family since the early 1900s.

Photo by Sydney G. Wilson

Dr. David Kinyon poses outside the door of his home at 416 W. Third St., in Madison, Ind.

In addition to the Kinyon home, this year’s tour will include two other homes never before seen by the public: the Harris-Lynch home at 311 Central Ave., and the Brian and Summer Marshall home at 201 Plum St. Scott and Kathy Lynch reside at the Harris-Lynch home.
Both of those homes have undergone extensive renovations and restorations to maintain historical integrity, with the Marshall home inspiring renovations along their entire block.
Tour organizer Marci Jones at VisitMadison Inc. said she strives to feature new homes on the tour every year, or, at the very least, wait five years before having a home on the tour again. With the Tri Kappa Tour of Homes also being this year, Jones said she took extra care to feature different homes. One of the homes on the tour, the Jerry and Carol Ralston home at 318 W. Third St., was featured 30 years ago and has been completely renovated since it was last on the tour.
The Russ and Beth Lewis home at 214 Baltimore St. has also been entirely updated since it was featured in 2012.
The Josh and Rielly Wilber home, an eye-catching Dutch Colonial at 506 W. Main St., was Indiana’s house of the year in 1919 and has not been on the tour since 1988.
As for finding good places to serve as hospitality sites, Jones said, “I always try to find sites along the route to make it easy for people who are taking the tour.”

Photo provided

The home owned by Scott and Kathy Lynch at 311 Central Ave. has undergone extensive renovation in recent years.

Jones said she has high expectations for the success of this year’s tour but is aware of the unknowns of the weather. “A lot of our attendance is based on weather. Our presales are up, but weather does play a big part.”
The tour had around 3,600 attendees in 2017, and Jones mentioned that she is hoping for as many as last year.
Tickets may be purchased at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center and at various other locations throughout town. Tickets are also available online at www.nightsbeforechristmas.com or by calling (812) 265-2956. Online orders and phone orders require a $1 handling fee per ticket. The presale price is $15 per person until Nov. 9. After that date, tickets increase to $20 per adult and $5 per children ages 5-12.

Cookie Caper takes place at the Visitors’ Center

Another popular feature of the tour is the Great Cookie Caper. This event is held at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center at 601 W. First St.  It features a wide selection of homemade cookies and sweet treats. Cookies and treats may be purchased by the box for $6 or $15 or three cookies for $1. 

Photo provided

The Wilber home at 516 W. Main St. is owned by Josh and Rielly Wilber and underwent extensive renovations.

This will be the eighth year for the Cookie Caper, and each year the Christmas tour donates all proceeds to a local charitable organization. This year’s sales will benefit the Madison Salvation Army.
From its inception; the Cookie Caper in conjunction with “Nights” has raised nearly $20,000. Past beneficiaries include the Lide White Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, the Jefferson County Animal Shelter, the Sunshine Fund for Hunting-ton’s Disease, the Jefferson County Youth Shelter and SEI Voices for children.  

The hours for the Cookie Caper are 4-7 p.m. on both Fridays and 1-7 p.m Saturdays (while supplies last) of the tour weekends.

Back to November 2018 Articles.



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