Tri Kappa tour of Homes

Historic homes tour to feature
five private homes, old City Hall

Greens’ Federal style brick home
to be part of biennial tour

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

(October 2010) – Sarah Green never knew her grandparents or great-grandparents, yet they are an everyday presence in her life.
She and her husband, Gene, live on 137 acres that has been in Sarah Green’s family for more than 100 years. They recently renovated and expanded the 1840s farmhouse on that property, and they have filled it with antiques passed down from various members of the Mouser, Oldaker and Schumann families. Every room of the house – indeed every window, doorway and corner – holds memories of her ancestors.

Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes
Oct. 8-10 in Madison, Ind.
Homes on the tour:

• Libby Mann home, 409 W. First St.
• Matt and Michelle Hicks home, 209 E. St.
• The Old City Hall, Donn Campbell owner, 416 West St.
• Mouser-Oldaker-Green Home, Gene & Sarah Green owners, 81 S. 325 W. State Road 56
• Nathan and Stephanie Barr home, 313 Central Ave.
• Randy and Celeste Reed home, 1256 Michigan Rd.
• Tour headquarters: Madison Presbyterian Church, 202 Broadway St.
• Tour hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Tickets: $15 adults; $6 children. To purchase, visit www.visitmadison.com 9-2956.
• For more information: www.trikappatourofhomes.com

On Oct. 8-10, that beloved family home will be open to the public as part of the biennial Tri Kappa Tour of Homes. Four other private homes will be on the tour, as well as the old City Hall building at 416 West St.
The Mouser-Oldaker-Green House is located at the crest of Hanover Hill. A Federal-style brick home with big windows and spacious rooms, it has been in Sarah Green’s family since 1899, when great-grandmother Christina Mouser purchased the house and 160 acres.
Ownership passed to Sarah’s grandfather, Alonzo Mouser, in exchange for taking care of Christina Mouser and the farm. Alonzo Mouser died in 1939, one year before his granddaughter Sarah was born. When Alonzo’s wife, Louisa Mouser, died in 1941, the farm passed to Sarah’s mother, Bernice Oldaker. As an only child, Sarah was the eventual heir of both the farmhouse and the more modern house that her parents built nearby in 1935.
Visitors to the farmhouse will see original woodwork, two fireplaces with original tile, and original floors of poplar, ash, pine and oak, all restored to their original glory.
They will also see the careful addition that Sarah and Gene Green completed in 2009 after Gene retired from his career as treasurer of Rotary Lift (in 2002) and Sarah retired from Southwestern High School (in 2005.)
As a former family and consumer sciences teacher, Sarah Green had definite ideas about how to expand the much-loved family kitchen into the work space of her dreams. Kitchen designer Pat Finley of Kitchen and Bath Showcase in Louisville took those dreams and helped turn them into a gleaming modern kitchen with warm, red-hued wood cabinetry and quartz countertops. Sarah wanted a second sink, and she got it. She wanted her cooking appliances grouped together, with lots of storage nearby. She got her wish. She wanted a special cabinet designed with a pass-through door to the dining room. It’s all there.

Gene and Sarah Green

Photo by Laura Hodges

Gene and Sarah Green are anxious
to show off their Federal style brick
home, which has been in Sarah’s
family for more than 100 years.

The new addition gave Sarah and Gene some other features they wanted for their home, such as a sunny office for Gene, a large laundry-workroom for Sarah, a comfortable television-watching area near the kitchen, a full basement with room for table tennis, and two bedrooms, one of which is their master bedroom.
Architect Bill Lammlein of La Grange, Ky., also suggested a solution for adding bathrooms to the second floor of the old home. He built out over the back porch so that each upstairs bedroom has its own modern bath. Since they are bumped out from the original building, the Greens jokingly refer to them as “the outhouses.”
In the new kitchen, there is an overhead opening that reveals the original water reservoir that first brought indoor plumbing to the home in 1905. It is wooden and lined with lead. Although no longer used, it is quite a conversation piece.
Floors in the addition are ambrosia maple, which Sarah said is also called “wormy maple” because of its texture. Woodwork was custom-made at a local business, Tiny Timbers, to match the original house.
The Greens are very pleased with the house expansion. “We put a lot of thought into the design and our architect put a lot of thought into it, too,” said Sarah Green.
Although the house has a fresh, new look, it still is home to many furnishings that have been in Sarah Green’s family for generations.
In an upstairs bedroom, visitors will see a large knockdown wardrobe brought in 1841 by family members from Bavaria, Germany.
There is a tool box used by Sarah’s Great Uncle Emil Schumann during construction of railroads in the western states during the 1890s.
Corner cupboards in the dining room came from different sides of the family, yet look like a matched set.
Several antique musical instruments, including two guitars, a banjo, a piano and some violins have been passed down to Sarah and may be on display.
The Mouser-Oldaker-Green farm received recognition as a Hoosier Homestead Farm in 2007. With that award, the Indiana Department of Agriculture recognizes that it has been a working farm and owned by the same family for 100 years or more.
An interesting feature of the property, which tour visitors won’t see, is an African-American cemetery that is the final resting place for members of the Beatty and Harris families. They owned the property before it was sold to Sarah Green’s ancestors in 1899.
Just up the lane from the farmhouse is Clifty Driving Range and Miniature Golf, owned and operated by the Greens.
Married for 51 years, the couple are some of the most active “retirees” in town. In fact, Sarah Green is still an active member of Tri Kappa after 42 years – long past the time most members transfer their membership to an associate chapter. She has served on the sorority’s scholarship committee, which distributes Tour of Homes proceeds to local high school seniors. Although she protests that it is “just a farmhouse,” she is pleased that her home was chosen to be part of the 2010 Tri Kappa Tour of Homes.

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