Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour
Rogers to give visitors a look at
what was once a poor asylum
Madison’s annual holiday home tour
runs two weekends
(November 2014) – There are many homes in Madison, Ind., that inspire awe and curiosity in passerby. Over the years, numerous homeowners living in the designated historic district have opened their homes to droves of visitors during the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes.
Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes
• Dates: Nov. 28-29; Dec. 5-6 in Madison, Ind.
• Tour Times: 5-9 p.m. Fridays; 3-9 p.m. Saturdays
• Tickets: $12.50 pre-sale through Nov. 14; then $15 after. Children ages 5-15 are $5. Available at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St., Madison
• Organizing Sponsor: VisitMadison Inc.
• Information and Tickets: (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956. www.NightsBeforeChristmas.com
• Rogers Home, 1917 E. Telegraph Hill Rd. (owners Buck and Carol Ann Rogers)
• Lynch Home, 527 W. Third St. (owners Patrick and Aimee Lynch)
• Dwyer Home, 317 Mill St. (owner Mary K. Dwyer)
• Stribling-Bladen Home, 625 W. Second St. (owners Rusty and Andra Bladen)
• Larkins Home, 319 E. Third St. (owners Jody and Kimberly Larkins)
• Beach Home, 921 W. Second St. (owner Tammie Beach)
• The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, 511 W. First St.
• Schofield House, 217 W. Second St.
• Seifert & Short Folk Art & Doll Museum, 113 E. Third St., Madison
• The Attic Coffee Mill Cafe, 631 W. Main St.
• Something Simple, 217 E. Main St.
• ALSO: the Great Cookie Caper will be held at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center. A Gingerbread House will be on display at the Jefferson County Historical Society, 615 W. First St.
This year, attendees to the two-weekend event will be compelled to stray off the beaten path. A short and scenic drive up Telegraph Hill will lead visitors to the home of Buck and Carol Ann Rogers at 1917 E. Telegraph Hill Rd.
This house has never been featured on any previous tour. However, the first step into this beautiful residence will leave all wondering why.
This year’s tour is scheduled for Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 5-6 in Madison. It is organized annually by VisitMadison Inc., the city’s tourism bureau. The Rogers’ home will be among six private homes, two historical sites and two churches on the tour. The event also offers three hospitality sites for visitors.
The Rogers’ home and 300 acres were initially purchased in 1817 by Patrick and Elizabeth Brown. Elizabeth was the sister of Madison’s founder, John Paul. In 1850, the building and 136 acres were sold to the Jefferson County Commissioners, who converted the home into the County Poor Asylum.
At that time, the home was most likely L shaped with part of the structure being brick and the other part wood. The existing brick structure was all that was left after the asylum was destroyed by fire in 1858.
Through the years, the home has seen many owners: the Sheets, Garling-house, Gardner and Geyman families have all passed within the home’s walls. It has been used for tobacco stripping and was the birthplace of Madison Tool and Die.
The business was developed by Mr. Sheets around 1953 and later sold to Jim Sparks.
The Rogers made the decision to move to Madison in 2006. “We wanted to be close to our grandchildren,” Carol Ann said. The home search was conducted with the help of their son, local veterinarian Kevin Watkins. He found the listing and then alerted his parents.
Photo by Jenny Straub Youngblood
Buck and Carol Ann Rogers will show their home on Telegraph Hill during the upcoming holiday home tour.
“We liked it because it was a one story home in the country with a great barn.” says Carol Ann. “It was homey.”
The Rogers report no structural issues with the property at the time they took ownership. However, there were some components that needed a change in order for it to feel like home. They converted a large closet to a bathroom and added a guest bathroom. A porch was transformed into a cozy family room that is decorated with memorabilia from Buck’s days in the U.S. Air Force.
Two porches were added to the home on the front and the side. Off the side porch, the Rogers have created an ethereal garden with ferns, a bridge and a koi pond.
The house has now absorbed the personality of its owners. The Rogers are a welcoming couple with warm smiles. The house seems to embrace visitors as well. As previous owners of an antique store in Sumter, S.C., the Rogers have decorated their Madison home with Victorian items and too many stained glass items to count. Carol Ann’s favorites are the “slag glass” lamps. Made of leftover glass pieces with intricate metal work, the lamps are eye catching and add to the warmth of the home.
The couple has a knack for finding architectural remnants that Buck incorporates throughout the home. Claiming to be a “jack of all trades,” he has converted broken beds into a mantle piece, used a butcher block as a kitchen island, and added antique decorative trim to shelves.
Photo by Jenny Straub Youngblood
Buck and Carol Ann Rogers reside
in this home, which has a lot
of Madison history. It was
once owned by the sister of
Madison founder John Paul.
He was also able to turn a yard sale gun cabinet into an attention-grabbing bookcase that stands next to his handcrafted mantle as if the pair was meant for one another.
Victorian shadowboxes, family Limoges china, a carousel horse, cigar store Indians – this home has become the gathering place for so many items of interest that guests will find themselves wanting to linger as in a museum.
The Rogers will have the home decorated in a period theme of the 19th century for the holidays and the tour. Carol Ann’s handmade Santas will also be on display.
Tour coordinator Marci Jones of VisitMadison Inc. says people enjoy the tour not only to visit historic homes but to also see the holiday decorations. Broadway Baptist church will play host to the holiday music portion of the tour. St. Michael the Archangel church will be opened for the first time since renovations. Also open will be the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site and the Schofield House.
The Jefferson County Historical Society will have a display of gingerbread houses made by local children. Refreshments will be available at hospitality sites at the Attic Coffee Mill Cafe, Something Simple and the Seifert Short Folk Art and Doll Museum.
Another portion of the tour, the Great Cookie Caper, will be held at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center at 601 W. First St. Various treats will be available for purchase. The Cookie Caper is open from 4-8 p.m. both Fridays of the tour and from 2-8 p.m. on both Saturdays. All proceeds from the Great Cookie Caper will benefit the Jefferson County Animal Shelter.
• Tickets can be purchased at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center or at www.NightsBeforeChristmas.com. Prices are $12.50 for adults until Nov. 15 at which time they will be $15. Children’s tickets are $5 for ages 5-15.
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