In the midst of the seasonal bustle, there is an ideal opportunity to get better acquainted with Indiana’s past. Many historic properties open their doors for special events and tours between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. On the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Oldfields – Lilly House and Gardens, is decorated in the style of Christmas in the 1930s, when the mansion was the new home of Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Josiah Lilly.
Elsewhere in the Circle City, holiday tours are offered at the Lockerbie Square home of poet James Whitcomb Riley—considered one of nation’s best preserved Victorian houses—and from the same era, the home of President Benjamin Harrison. The 23 rd President of the United States decorated the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889. Home of the Howard County Historical Museum, Kokomo’s Seiberling Mansion is also bedecked for the holidays. The neo-Jacobean, Romanesque Revival home was built in 1891 for industrialist Monroe Seiberling. In Bloomington, those seeking nostalgic holiday cheer may gather by candlelight at an annual event held at the Wylie House Museum, built by Indiana University‘s First President, Andrew Wylie in 1835.
In addition, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana hosts holiday open houses for members and their guests at such historic properties around the state as Veraestau in Aurora, the Willey-Allhands House in Jeffersonville, and the Huddleston Farmhouse in Cambridge City. Information about joining the preservationist organization is available online at historiclandmarks-dot-org.