The Vacation Home Tour, an annual Huntingburg Christmas Walk event, will be held Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Three houses and an Airbnb are in the spotlight.
Kathy Tretter, on behalf of the Huntingburg Merchants Association, visited the homes and spoke to the owners in October, before Christmas and the pre-holiday decorations.
Chris and Ciara Roberts, 110 E. Second St.
The Roberts house, built in 1927 or 28 (everyone thought it was a different year), is quite unique in that it is a “smart” house. “We always joke that it’s a 100 year old smart home,” says Chris. The house now includes lights and a voice-activated thermostat, as well as four controlled cameras. In other words, an old house with the latest news.
When they found their home two and a half years ago, they both fell in love with different features. Ciara wanted a big garden, and their house ticks that box. Chris wanted to be a practical remodeler, and that box was checked as well.
For example, the bathroom still had copper water pipes and a cast iron tub but no shower. Also, some of the electrical appliances were in absolutely the wrong place. He basically gutted it out, built a vertical half-wall to enclose the plumbing, and replaced everything except the bathroom mirror, which is original.
He also plastered most of the house and is currently working on finishing the attic to create a master bedroom.
The previous owner was an elderly woman who had lived there for over 40 years, but another feature that attracted Ciara was the large storage space in the kitchen. “It was a really big selling point.”
Ciara, who loved shades of blue, used the color to tie all the pieces together.
The house only had two closets, something else Chris has rectified but the attic will be a welcome addition. Speaking of priorities, besides Ciara’s big yard, Chris wanted a basement and the two made their wish come true. The basement is half storage and half cellar.
A lovely solarium leads to the huge fenced backyard (the fence added by the Roberts) and Chris made a picnic table out of an old barn door he found in the garage. “They had used leftover planks from the floor to make the barn door,” says Chris, and he wanted to use the wood.
The couple also fell in love with the front porch and cleared away many neglected shrubs in front to open up the view.
Randy and Lisa McWilliams, 507 E. Fourth St.
The McWilliams own one of the most beautiful and stately historic homes in Huntingburg (which is highly regarded as the city is full of breathtaking mansions). It was built by Dr. Dowell, a dentist who moved from northern Indiana to Huntingburg and built his house in 1911 for the purpose of entertainment.
Made from brick, the porch spans the front of the house and it’s easy to imagine Mrs. Dowell decked out in a charming hat and gloves while serving lemonade and tea sandwiches to members of the Music Club.
Originally, Dr Dowell set up his dental practice inside what is now the salon. Hidden under an oriental rug is a brass fitting where his dentist’s chair once stood. This was only temporary as he built an office next door in 1912. Randy turned the rug over to show the trim and explained that the floors are oak with Douglas fir inlays.
The house was designed in the Arts and Crafts or Craftsman style, when artisans and craftsmen merged their talent for design, which coincided with the art deco movement. The original oak woodwork throughout the house is absolutely sublime. The two front rooms are adjoining and include the living room to the east and the dining room to the west, partly divided by narrow recessed bookcases. The top of the bookcases features what could be described as an elongated trapezoid. Randy realized that these parts were missing and had spare parts made by an Amish gentleman from Worthington. The overall feel of both of these venues is definitely that they were designed to entertain.
The windows, with the exception of a block of stained glass in the dining room, are all original (and these windows will soon be replaced with period pieces). Randy explained that when Home Depot came to measure the 11 windows lined up like sentries on the front wall for the blinds, the man told him he had never encountered any windows that were exactly the same size.
A hallmark of the artisan style is symmetry, which is both striking and functional. Randy later found out that the ceiling would have been coffered with beams that had been removed at one point.
The McWilliams have done quite a bit of renovations in the five years they own the house.
As all graceful homes of this era had almost always had, this one has a butler’s pantry. For this project, they had to strip the green paint to restore it to its former luster. The couple also found the original back door in the basement and after a deep clean and a new top coat, they replaced a less than adorable door with the original.
Each room is more beautiful than the next, from the kitchen to Randy’s office to the master bedroom.
Randy McWilliams wish? He would love to see a picture of Dr Dowell. The Dowells didn’t have children, but if anyone had a photo of the dentist they would love to see it.
Apparently the Good Doctor branched out into many directions, patenting an oil pressure gauge and several other inventions including door hinges and a pull tractor. He also owned the Patoka Furniture Company, another thing the McWilliams would like to know more about.
“Dr. Dowell died in this house on New Years Day,” says Randy. He was asleep and a train whistle sounded, waking him with a start. He had a heart attack and died.
“But the house is not haunted,” he says.
Heaven on the Fourth Airbnb, 412 E. Fourth St.
Along with her husband, Sara Belmore, owner of Bean to Sprout children’s store on 4th Street, bought another building just down the street. The lower level contains Chocolate Bliss, a second location for the really sweet confectionery (the original location is in Jasper Square). The Belmonts converted the one-bedroom studio above to an airbnb.
This quaint and comfortable space has all the amenities one could want in a vacation rental. Sara chose a pastel palette to create a serene and relaxing environment. A full kitchen includes everything needed for those wishing to dine.
While the apartment overlooks 4th Street and is within walking distance of shops and entertainment venues, a screened porch leads to a charming secluded patio which can be accessed via the back stairs for added privacy in an intimate setting. , as well as for outdoor dining.
In addition to the single bedroom, Heaven on the Fourth has a futon in the living room, so the apartment can accommodate one or two adults or a couple / single with two children.
JD and Theresa Wright, 419 N. Geiger St.
Theresa Wright is living her dream, with her husband, JD, and two sons. The couple lived in Green County near Bloomington for about 16 years, but both are from Dubois County. They debated between renovating their Green County home and moving to Dubois County, but after months of indecision they vowed to get back close to family and friends. Both are graduates of Southridge High School, so finding a house in Huntingburg would be optimal.
And what a house they found.
Their old home in south-central Indiana was the most typical 2,000 square feet, while their Geiger Street home is closer to 5,000 square feet, including the basement and attic, which allows more than enough space for the family of four.
“I’ve known this house since I was a kid,” Theresa explained, “and I always thought it was beautiful, but never in a million years did I think I would live here.”
The Wrights are only the fourth beneficial owners of this brick rectory, which Theresa says was built around 1900 (although the interior of the fireplace is stamped 1897).
The iconic structure is well known thanks to the magnificent magnolias that bloom in spring.
Christian Kornrumpf was the original owner, but this was not the first house to stand on the property. Leonard Bretz, a tradesman from Huntingburg, had built a magnificent house on the site, but whether it burned down or why it was demolished is a mystery.
Kornrumpf married one of Bretz’s daughters, who had previously been his pupil (he was a teacher, jeweler, and musical instrument maker – a jack of all trades), so the ownership transition is easily explained . The most recent owner before the Wrights, Mitch Clark, is a descendant of Kornrumpf.
Theresa explained that the footprint of her house, built above the basement of the previous house, is identical except for the opening under the dining room, which is a crawl space.
Regarding decoration, the Wrights gradually took over the interior, but wanted to retain many of the features that made the house so unique, such as the period wallpaper in many rooms, the oak woodwork and moldings. , the superb pocket doors leading to the dining room and the inescapable pantry (at the beginning of the 20th century).
The Wrights adorned the space with several collections, including Theresa’s grandmother’s collection of wooden sticks and stoneware her uncle sent home from Japan while on duty, and boxes of capsules. bottles from her father and uncle’s brewing days, and a giant wooden spoon and fork adorning one of the bright red walls in the kitchen. By the way, the kitchen cabinets are honey oak with a copper backsplash that really stands out.
Theresa also set up what she calls the Block Feast of Jesus Christ, which started out as a traditional manger and now includes several wise men of different sizes, three Baby Jesus and a couple of Mary, as well as stable animals. and some kitsch reindeer thrown in for good measure.
Theresa, who holds multiple degrees, works from home as a program management analyst for specific contract-based systems for government agencies such as the Department of Defense, does not plan to open her office, so which is a shame because with his lettered sports jacket. (she went to declare her junior year for discus throw) She has a huge framed and signed poster of a shirtless Patrick Swayze on the wall (keeping the room nice and warm).
The Wrights added a special feature to the Stroll Home Tour, syncing music and Christmas lights for everyone’s enjoyment.
Tickets for the vacation home tour cost $ 20. They are available from Bean to Sprout, Downtown Emporium, Firefly, and Gehlhausen’s Flowers and Gifts. Slippers will be available in all homes and masks are mandatory for the tour.