Candlelight Tour offers view of historic homes

December 3, 2018

La PORTE — La Porte’s Historic Preservation Group held this year’s annual Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes over the weekend.

The tour was self-guided and featured Christmas displays from seven different local historical buildings, five of which were private homes.

The homes were decorated inside and out with elaborate Christmas ornamentation. Homeowners welcomed guests with a candlelit walkup to the door.

Many homes had live musical performances with instruments including piano, guitar, dulcimer, flute, violin, cello and even a barbershop quartet.

The Scott-Rumely Mansion returned to the tour this year after a several year hiatus. The home was built in 1901 and occupies an entire block on Rose Street.

During the time of former owner, Dr. Edward Rumely, the house was frequented by many famous names, such as Henry Ford, Japanese artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, American publisher S. S. McClure, and former president Theodore Roosevelt.

For the first time ever, the tour featured the Old La Porte Library located on Maple Avenue. The library was built around 1876 and hosted lectures that famous for bringing in notable men and women such as Clara Barton, Horace Greely and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Guests gathered at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for cookies and hot apple cider while. Built in 1898, St. Paul’s was the first structure at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harrison Street. The church also provided live piano and small choir singing Christmas carols to tourists.

The People Engaged in Preservation’s Christmas Candlelight Tour generally features horse drawn carriage rides for its patrons.

However, this year’s rainy weather prevented carriage rides during the tour.

“In this weather, it’s not safe for the horses, or the people. It’s too bad because the carriages would have taken (the tour) all throughout the city,” La Porte Historical Society member Michael Rosenbaum explained. “There is no other reason for not having the horse and carriage out today,” implying that the tradition may continue going forward.

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