Five homes, a church and the B&O Railroad Depot will be featured when the Greenfield Historical Society hosts the 12th annual Christmas Tour of Homes from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.
A chicken noodle dinner will precede the tour at the Grain and Hay Building in Greenfield from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost of the meal is $10 and includes chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, slaw, roll and butter, drink and a choice of cakes.
The historic church featured this year is St. Benignus Catholic Church located at 204 Mirabeau St. The original church was started in 1856 with stone cut from the Rucker quarries. It was located on South Second Street and was dedicated on Dec. 25, 1858. In 1904, the Methodist congregation left a church on Second and Mirabeau streets and moved to Fourth and South streets. Edward Lee McClain bought the church and offered it to the Catholic congregation. The first mass was celebrated on Dec. 11, 1904. The church was repainted in 2011.
Members of the church will welcome visitors and share some of the special history along with a special Christmas nativity scene that has been a part of the church for almost 100 years. Father Mike Paraniuk will also welcome people to see his radio collection in the rectory next door to the church. The church and rectory will not be open until 1 p.m., after mass is done.
The first house featured will be at 335 N. Fifth St., the home of Debbie Baal. This home is believed to be one of the homes moved from the school property when E. L. McClain was building the vocational building and the football field. It is known that the home was not on the lot in 1919, but was there by 1922. Baal thought the home was built in 1904. She also knows that the kitchen and attic were added onto the house before she moved in. Baal has lived in the home for 38 years. When she and her late husband, John, moved in, they loved that it was so close to the school where they taught. She describes her decorating style as eclectic. One of her special decorations is a book tree made out of John’s math books. This is the second year for the tree.
The second house is the home of Ted and Lana Jackman at 300 North St.. It was built in 2014 in the Craftsman style. The Jackmans love living in the downtown area of their hometown, having lived outside the city limits beforehand. Lana describes her decorating style as traditional/eclectic with a little of every style here and there. One of Lana’s favorite things in her home is an old post office cabinet which displays old paperweights her mother collected. This is their third Christmas in the house and there will be three trees in the downstairs and one upstairs.
The home of Mike and Becky Anderson at 441 Jefferson St. is the third home. It is the Presbyterian manse built in 1903 that has been completely remodeled in four years. The family has been in the house since May of this year. Mike described their interior as simple and classic in style with a few antiques included. Their favorite part of the house is the woodwork on the front grand staircase and throughout the house, which as all been restored and refinished. They will be sharing the upstairs and downstairs with guests, and will have the original mantel decorated and have a 9-foot tall Christmas tree at the grand staircase.
Teena Thornton will welcome visitors to her home at 750 Jefferson St. Her home was built around 1950. She has heard that it was a two-story once, but after a fire the second floor was never restored. Teena has lived there for one year. She considers her style as eclectic and loves her big kitchen, large bedroom sitting room, back porch, and four-car garage. Her Christmas decorations will be lace and lights.
The final home belongs to Ian and Angie Trefz at 11471 SR 753 South. It is a farmhouse located about a mile outside of Greenfield. The farmhouse was built in 1901 with the Wilson family residing in the home for 80-plus years. The Trefz family has lived there for two years now and they have concentrated on the interior so far. They have completed a new kitchen, laundry room, and bath, and have also removed wallpaper and painted the entire downstairs area. Angie describes her decorating style as primitive. Her favorite part of the house is the old character the house has with all its little nooks and crannies. There will be Christmas decorations throughout the entire downstairs.
Finally, the B&O Depot will be open for visitors. The depot has been recently renovated. Tom Adams has donated his models of the railroads in Greenfield during the 1920s to the historical society this year. He has beautifully made scale models of some of the buildings and homes in town along with the railroad tracks and depots.
“We encourage you to stop in and see his displays and view the newly renovated military displays and railroad items that the historical society possesses,” the society said in a news release. “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. The historical society truly appreciates all their time and effort. The tour helps the society carry on its work to preserve history in Greenfield.”
Tickets are $10 for the tour and are available at Community Savings Bank. Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the Grain and Hay building and at the homes.
Also, if you need gifts for Christmas, the historical society have many ideas available, including its book on McClain High School.
Finally, Bill Roller will be at the Grain and Hay signing books, including his Christmas book “Old Time Christmas Story,” set in Greenfield in 1915.
Information for this article was provided by the Greenfield Historical Society.