The 2017 Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes features five private homes, First Christian Church, three historic sites and the History Center Museum. There are three Hospitality Sites, where tour goers can stop in for a free refreshment and restrooms. Dates for this year’s tour are November 24 & 25 and December 1 & 2. Hours for the tour are Fridays 5-9 and Saturdays 3-9. Tickets are on sale now at the Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., Madison Indiana and online at www.nightsbeforechristmas.com. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, through Nov. 10 and $20 after. Children’s tickets are $5 for children ages 5-12.
This year’s private homes include: the Schaerli Cottage, This charming Victorian cottage, was built in the late 19th century, circa 1870. It features Italianate characteristics, including ornamented porch detail, stone lintels and bracketed cornice.; the Dr. Charles H. Schussler House, built in 1849, served as both Dr. Schussler’s home and medical practice which was located in the basement of the home. The home is reflective of the local architecture of the time and includes 12 foot ceilings on both levels and each room has a fireplace common of homes built during this time.; the Dunn-Lynch Home, this Classic Greek-Roman Revival frame house was finished in 1838. The two-story tetrastyle portico which faces the river is flanked by fluted Doric Columns, and floor length windows allow access to the portico.; the McKay Home, built in the 1850s is an Italianate style home, the exterior features triangular lintels over the windows and overhanging eaves supported by Craftsman Style brackets and a decorative cornice.; the Brown Home, a Federal style house, circa 1848, was saved from the wrecking ball by Jeanine Dean in the 1980s. There are floor to ceiling windows in the living and dining rooms, pocket doors in the living room and fireplaces in each of the 6 comfortable rooms. The home also features hall and parlor plans indicative of the Italianate Style. All of the private homes on this year’s tour are located in Madison’s National Historic Landmark District.
After a four year restoration, we are happy to announce the return of the Shrewsbury-Windle Home to the 2017 Christmas tour line-up. Work began on the exterior in September 2013. This restoration/rehabilitation is a comprehensive project aimed at restoring/rehabilitating the property for museum and event use. The last major rehabilitation of the structure took place in the 1950s. Madison’s “crown jewel”, the Lanier Mansion will be featured as well as the Masonic Schofield House and the Jefferson County Historical Society’s History Center, which will display gingerbread houses made by area children. Hospitality sites include Little Golden Fox, The Primitive Porch, and the Seifert Short Folk Art and Doll Museum.
Another popular feature of the tour is the Great Cookie Caper! This event is held at the Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., Madison Indiana. It features a wide selection (600+ dozen) of homemade cookies and sweet treats. Cookies and treats may be purchased by the box for $6 or $15 or 3 cookies for $1. This will be the 7th 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 Jefferson County Youth Shelter. Since its inception, the Cookie Caper in conjunction with “Nights” has raised more than $15,000 for local charities. The hours for the Cookie Caper are 4-7pm on both Fridays and 1-7pm (while supplies last) on both Saturdays of the home tour.