Thursday, October 20, 2011

Historic Home Tour—be there or be square

(this wasn't published in CIN, but since I wrote it I thought I would at least blog it)

I lived in downtown Noblesville for four years before I ever went on the Home Tour. I was so enchanted that I immediately volunteered our home for the next year’s tour (seriously). I’ve been involved with the Noblesville Preservation Alliance (NPA) ever since.
This year’s tour will be extra special with so many great complementary events, which you can read about in the cover story. I love the stories woven into this town’s fabric and I had a great time learning more about the stories of those who’ve lived here for years.
Storyteller Elizabeth (Betty) Gerrard plans to be at one of the homes dressed in costume. Gerrard, who has lived in the same home in Noblesville for the past sixty-five years would like to share with tourgoers some of the changes she’s seen.
            She recalls that there was only one stoplight in town when she moved to Noblesville in the 1940’s, and she has vivid memories of Gran’pa’s Candy Store, featured as a Point of Interest on the Tour this year.
Dottie Young shared her experience being on the very first home tour in 1986. “Carol Karst-Wasson talked me into it,” Dottie said. “I was teaching full time in Indy and raising Emily Young Compton, now the tour chair. I think I had just gotten out of the shower as the first guests started coming in (Tom Bond and his wife).”
Now here I learned something else—the Bonds parked their antique car in front of the Young’s house. When you realize that the Young’s live on Conner street, wow! There was parking right on Conner Street.
Dottie recalls over 500 guests that first year. (We can top that this year). “The tour started right on the heels of moving the Craig House. That was a fabulous day, watching that huge house roll across Conner,” Dottie said. “This history gives us a sense of place, a touchstone to know where we are to consider how this town would look without its centerpiece.”
Jill Hutchinson is another avid tourgoer. “I love it when the volunteers have a story about the home or there are pictures of the original owners and you get a small view of the past. That's my favorite but what's not to love? You get to walk around our beautiful town and see great decorating ideas.”
I hope to see you September 17.

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