Five homes, a church and the Konneker Education Building will be featured when the Greenfield Historical Society hosts its 11th annual Tour of Homes.
The tour will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. A baked steak dinner will precede the tour at the Grain and Hay Building at the corner of Jefferson Street and McArthur Way from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $10 and includes baked steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, roll and butter, drinks, and different kinds of cake.
The church featured this year is the historic First Baptist Church of Greenfield located at 125 N. Washington St. The beginnings of the church date to 1829 as the Walnut Creek Baptist Church located about five miles outside of Greenfield. Hugh and Elizabeth Smart joined the church in 1830. Hugh was instrumental in bringing the church into town in September 1830. He purchased a site and had a frame structure built on the present site of the church. The first pastor was Elder Jacob Layman.
After 10 years and a very successful revival, the present church was constructed around the original structure in 1840. In 1883, a brick annex facing Washington Street was added. In 1895, two rooms were added to the east end of the stone section. In 1896, six large memorial stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary and another two in the baptistery and vestibule. Each window cost $70. This church is Greenfield’s oldest at its original location.
During the tour, church members will welcome visitors and share some of the special features along with Christmas decorations for the season.
The first house featured will be at 450 North St., the home of Liticia and Josh Walker. The oldest home on the tour, it was built in 1901. The Walkers have lived there for two and a half years. Most of the walls were redone and the woodwork stripped before they moved in, so they painted the walls to match their taste. Much of the home is primitive in style with some antique pieces throughout. One of Liticia’s favorite pieces is a Hoosier cabinet in the dining room that she stripped and painted. There will be themed trees in almost every room with a Santa tree in the living room. The outside is also adorned with Christmas decorations.
The second house is at 320 McClain Ave., the home of Brenda and John Losey. It was built in 1925 in the Craftsman style with lots of built-ins. The house has been added onto three times, all before the Loseys bought it. They have lived in the home for over 24 years. Their decorating style is family friendly. A large portion of the furniture is family pieces that have been passed down, including a curio cabinet from John’s grandmother. When buying furniture, they like antiques and vintage pieces. The majority of the Christmas decorations will be in the living room with a little bit of “Christmas love” throughout the stairway and other rooms of the house.
The home of Katie Pryor is the third house at 628 McClain Ave. It was built around 1948 by Red Wylie. Pryor describes her decorating style as modern farmhouse. She and her girls have lived in the home for two years and she loves the coziness of the small home that has a lot of character. When she moved in, she removed the carpet and found the wood floors in good condition. Pryor will have a little touch of Christmas in every room of the house.
Tom Schluep and Dan McCray will welcome visitors to their home at 13613 Hillcrest, built in 1957. Schluep and McCray have lived there for two years. Their decorating style is modern eclectic. They have many antiques throughout the home with an oak piano built in 1900. They also have an original framed blueprint. When they moved in they did a lot of painting, landscaping, and added new windows. There will be lots of decorations throughout the home with greenery and Christmas detail on furniture and shelves.
The final home belongs to Linda and Roger Wagoner at 101 Pleasant Hill Drive. The house was built in 2006. The Wagoners were living in Florida and decided to move back to Greenfield. They have been in the house for two years and have a mostly country style decor. Roger put a wood floor in the kitchen and tile in the bathroom. The house will have decorations in all the rooms with a small tree in the front room and trees on the front and back porches.
The Konneker Education museum will be open for visitors. It will have a display of paintings done by Jim Roads, a 1956 McClain High School graduate. He will share the stories of each painting. The historical society has notecards of three different McClain paintings done by Roads on sale for the holidays at the Grain and Hay building.
One of the society’s newest acquisitions are Formica walls from F.R. Harris’ home displaying decals from his travels to different parts of the world. The society would like to share at least one of the walls with those taking the tour.
“All five families are excited about the tour this year and hope many visitors come through to see all their hard work and Christmas decorations,” historical society president Harold Schmidt said. “The historical society truly appreciates all their time and effort. They help the society carry on its work to preserve history in Greenfield.”
Tour tickets are available at Community Savings Bank. They will also be available the day of the tour at the Grain and Hay building and at the homes.
The society said it also has many items that can be purchased as Christmas presents, including its recent book on McClain High School.
Editor’s Note: Information for this article was provided by the Greenfield Historical Society.