By Debra Sigel
The Carmel Clay Historical Society’s annual Holiday Home Tour is starting to become a local tradition. And its seventeenth incarnation is scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7.
The homes featured in this year’s tour reflect more than 180 years of Carmel’s history spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. And the furnishings and features of all of the homes demonstrate their owners’ interest in Carmel’s past and a love for the traditions of their forebears.
Silas and Hannah Moffitt were early Carmel pioneers from North Carolina who were instrumental in developing and cultivating what is today the east side of Carmel. And their brick two-story Federal-style farmhouse on River Road will be part of this year’s tour. It was built about 1827 and was just the second brick home in the township.
Each of the homes on display promises to grab visitors’ attention with their collections of art, furniture, books and magical wonders from the past.
The tour also gives the historical society an opportunity to honor and respect the fine craftsmanship and history of Carmel architecture.
“The newest home on the tour – a stately 1937 Meridian-Kessler style house set back from the road among trees and an emerging boxwood garden – was rumored to have caused quite a stir among some of the Depression era residents of Carmel. Considered too grand at the time, perhaps this home was simply foretelling Carmel’s future seventy plus years later!,” said historical society volunteer Ginny Terpening in a news release.
“This year we have four homes on the Holiday Home Tour, and people drive by all the time and don’t know what they are like inside. They are filled with antiques, but the houses themselves are truly the antiques,” she said.
A love of late 19th century Victorian architecture is the driving force behind Lance Harting’s efforts to preserve both his 1880s home and the integrity of Carmel’s oldest neighborhoods.
Harting was involved in the early development of Carmel’s Arts & Design District and the building improvements in Old Town Carmel. And he said his Victorian cottage-style home with high ceilings with seven foot windows will be on this year’s tour, too.
Holiday Home Tour ● 6 p.m. Dec. 6; 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 7 ● Carmel Christian Church ● 463 E. Main St. in Carmel ● Tickets are $40 Dec. 6; $20 Dec. 7 ● For more information call 587-1017 or visit www.carmelclayhistory.org.