Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes
home to show off quilts,
designs, decorations to visitors
Michella M. Marino
(November 2006) Although John and Linda Davis
have resided in their home at 415 W. Main St., Madison, Ind., for only
two years, they have done a tremendous amount of work to make it a charming
place to visit for both family and friends Now, thanks to the upcoming
Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes, the public will also
be able to take a peek into the freshly painted mustard colored house,
which is known for the content basset hound often spotted on the front
Candlelight Tour of Homes
24-26 and Dec. 1-3 in downtown Madison, Ind.
Tickets: $12.50 adults, $5 children ages 5-15 before Nov.
10; $15 after Nov. 10.
Purchase at the tourism office or online.
Tour hours: 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4-7 p.m. Sunday.
Nights & Nibbles Express SOLD OUT! (progressive
dinner and home tour): Only Dec. 3 tickets still available for
Information: (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956 or visit:
Private homes on tour:
The Rhora Home, 514 E. Main St.
The Hendricks-Beall Home, 620 W. Main St.
The Newhouse Home, 416 E. Main St.
The Karem Home, 522 East Main St.
The Davis Home, 415 W. Main St.
Madison tourism officials contacted the Davises about
displaying their 1890 Victorian two-story brick home on the tour. But
despite the beauty of the home, Linda Davis said, Were not
really tour material. We just hope people will like it.
Despite her humbleness, the Davis home has much to please the eye of
the visitor. The entire Davis home will be open for the tour, which
is organized by the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The
tour is scheduled for two weekends: Friday through Sunday, Nov. 24-26;
and again on Dec. 1-3.
The tour features five private homes and four public historic sites:
the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, 601 W. First St.; the Francis
Costigan House, 408 W. Third St.; the Masonic Schofield House, 217 W.
Second St.; and the Jefferson County Historical Society Heritage Center,
615 W. First St. The First Christian Church, 512 W. Main St., will be
on the tour as well.
Hospitality Centers providing refreshments and restrooms will be located
at Artful Living, 313 W. Main St., and Little Peoples Boutique
and Fine Threads, 232 E. Main St. The Lanier-Visitors Center,
601 W. First St., will also be open for information and restrooms.
Private Home Descriptions
Rhora Home, 514 E. Main St.: Built in the early 1890s and extensively
updated by the previous owners, this classic Victorian home has
largely been returned to its original elegance by the present owners.
The home features eight fireplaces with their original faux marble
paint still intact, original faux burled walnut doors, including
a double set of entrance doors, pressed wood moldings, baseboards
and pine floors.
The home is furnished with a large collection of Victorian antiques
and includes period reproduction wallpaper and window treatments
in several rooms. Also featured are a collection of Victorian silver,
antique clocks, two mid-19th century crazy quilts and a collection
of ship models, including a six foot model of RMS Titanic.
Hendricks-Beall Home, 620 W. Main St.: This brick home was built
between 1848-1858 and is one of the finest examples of Italianate
style in Madison. This home may have been the design of Francis
Costigan. The original owner of the home was William Hendricks,
and it was later acquired by William Stapp. In the late 1950s, the
home was partitioned off for use as a rooming house to accommodate
construction workers building the local I.K.E.C. power plant. Having
fallen into major deterioration and disrepair, the home was rescued
by the Waverly Beall family in 1961.
The Bealls restored the home to its original floor plan, lovingly
cared for and maintained family ownership for the last 40-plus years.
The home features a large, cast iron, balcony- like roofed porch
spanning the front of the façade and accessible only from
the interior. The first floor features floor length, six over nine
windows which also function as doors.
The current owners, Sam and Lori Snyder, are newcomers to Madison
and want to share this grand home with the public as a bed and breakfast.
Notice the magnificent mirrors from the Beall family era that grace
the library and dining room walls. Homeowner Sam Snyder will delight
you with Christmas carols played on the Beall family piano.
Newhouse Home, 416 E. Main St.: The original portion of this home
was built in the 1830s and consisted of two large first floor rooms
with two rooms above and an outside gallery porch. The kitchen,
like Madisons historic Sullivan House, was in the basement,
which was accessed beneath the stairs. The property was within the
original boundaries of the old town of Madison in 1809. The facade
is in the Federal style with an Italianate cornice having Gothic
details (note the pointed arches).
In the 1870s the Cooperider family lived in this home. Dr. Cooperider
was a Civil War veteran (wounded at Stones River) who practiced
medicine in Madison for many years. At this time a front parlor,
with a bedroom and bathroom above were added. In 1889 a kitchen
and porch were added to the rear of the house and a two-story brick
carriage house was built at the back of the property, replacing
a smaller shed.
This home was purchased by Larry and Pam Newhouse in 2002 and features
five fireplaces, 10-foot high double doors separating the formal
and informal parlors, much of the original window glass and door
Karem Home, 522 East Main St.: This property was built between 1866
and 1882 according to local deed records. Members of the Harry L.
Vail family lived here during the 1920s. This family owned local
furniture and funeral home concerns. The Herbst family also lived
here at one time.
The home is a combination of popular Victorian styles from the late
19th and early 20th centuries. The ornate brackets supporting the
eaves represent the Italianate style. The steeply pitched roof is
evidence of the Gothic Revival style. Indications of the Second
Empire style can be seen in the structures only dormer, located
in the center of the roof and the bargeboard scrollwork around the
windows. Elements of the Folk Victorian style can be seen in the
spindle work of the front porch.
The home is graced with lovely wrought-iron details on the cresting
of the roof and porch roof. A more subdued wrought-iron fence surrounds
the property. These details are a reminder of Madisons past
during which at least three foundries produced artful ironwork,
which still grace our citys streets.
Davis Home, 415 W. Main St.: This Victorian two story brick home
was constructed in 1890. Throughout the years the home has changed
hands many times and was owned by the Pritchard family for more
than 40 years.
The house has five rooms downstairs, four rooms up, two bathrooms
and a sun porch at the rear. An efficiency kitchen from when the
house was a two family dwelling remains on the second floor. The
side porch and the unique shape of the family room add special charm
to the home.
John Davis mother made the various handmade quilts displayed
throughout the house. There are more than 40 different patterns
including around the world, bow tie, wedding rings, log cabin, candy
jar and grandmothers flower garden.
Christmas is one of Linda Davis favorite holidays and the
decorations inside and out reflects her creativity and love of the
The Davis house is mainly decorated in a primitive folk
art style, and many decorations can be spotted from local shops, such
as Something Simple, Margies Country Store and The Attic. Their
curtains have all been purchased from Micheles Curtains and Drapes,
and almost everything framed in their house has been done by Binzers
Custom Framing. Linda says she enjoys supporting local business because
when youre friendly to them, they treat you just like friends
and call you by name.
The Davis home also features handmade quilts uniquely crafted by Betty
Jo Davis, Johns mother. The quilts appear in almost all rooms
of the house, and every bed has at least two of them decorating it.
The tours website states that more than 40 different quilt patterns
appear throughout the house, including the wedding ring, candy jar,
log cabin, grandmothers flower garden, around the world, and bow
tie. The Davises also have a special cabinet that displays and preserves
Since the Daviss really enjoy the Christmas holidays, they plan
to decorate the inside and outside of their home for the tour. This
includes everything from a live Christmas tree with Hallmark ornaments
and candy canes to a white wicker reindeer that will reside in their
We go to the extremes for Christmas, Linda said.
Event coordinator Marci Jones of the Madison Area CVB said that the
Nights Tour has been around for 25 years. The group tries hard to not
repeat homes on the tour, but if they are, then five years are required
to pass before the home can re-appear on the tour. Jones understands
that the homeowners are making a big sacrifice to open their homes to
the public for the tour, so she hopes tour-goers will be respectful
of the homeowners property and will also thank them for opening
their residences to the public.
Back by popular demand for only its second consecutive year is the Nights
and Nibbles Express, which is, according to a brochure for the
event, a progressive dinner at some of Madisons finest restaurants
combined with a tour of Nights private homes.
The Madison Trolley will provide the transportation for the evening.
The Nights and Nibbles Express will be held on both Sundays of the tour.
As a measure of its popularity, the Nov. 26 Express is already
sold out. The cost is $50 per person for the first 75 paid, and tickets
can be purchased at the tourism office.
The progressive dinner was such a hit last year that the CVB decided
to hold the Nights and Nibbles Express both weekends of the tour, Jones
Along with allowing their home to be toured, the Davises say they will
do some touring themselves. Both will participate in the Nights and
Nibbles Express, as they did last year. Its just great and
a good thing for the community, Linda Davis said. And its
a lot of fun.
Back to November 2006