The most magical time all year in Madison is definitely the Holiday Tour of Homes weekend. The days are wonderfully crisp, the whole town is full of Christmas cheer, and the Historic District is as beautiful as ever with antebellum homes adorned with Christmas wreaths on the doors and garland on the porches. If you’ve never seen Madison at Christmastime, it should be on your bucket list!
What’s even better than seeing the homes from the outside is seeing historic and private homes fully decorated for the holidays on the inside, and you can do just that on Madison’s Holiday Tour of Homes on November 30th and December 1st this year!
There will be both day tours and evening candlelight tours with some different homes on each. The tour’s headquarters is the star of the show: Heritage Hall, one of Madison’s finest antebellum homes in the Historic District. Pictured below, this Greek revival home was built in 1811 by Dr. Elijah Evans Jones, a prominent physician in Madison. Known for its window etchings, beautiful period furnishings, and exquisite architecture, this house has many stories to tell of the people that once lived within its walls.
The Stokes-McHenry House is one of the oldest houses in Madison, built around 1822. The front of the house faces Old Post Road, which has been a main thoroughfare since the early 19th century (this road connected travelers from New Orleans to Charleston whereby Madison was known as the most aristocratic town on the stagecoach route). The house was originally a Federal-style townhouse, two stories tall and two rooms deep, known as a 2-over-2.
One of Madison’s most fascinating houses is featured in this year’s Holiday Tour of Homes. The Boat House on Porter Street, circa 1850, looks a lot different today than it did when it was originally built by Commodore G. N. Dexter. Originally sporting a ship’s prow on the east end, this home once housed a Madison Girls Academy and was the home of Ellen Axson, Woodrow Wilson’s first wife. An even grander house was built around this original house through the years. Tour the house as it exists today and see if you can spot the portions of the original Boat House in the inside of the current house!
One thing is for sure: the historic homes on the tour this year have some pretty incredible stories behind them! Here is a full list of all of the homes on the Holiday Tour of Homes:
1. Boat House– 383 Porter Street
2. Stokes McHenry House – 458 Old Post Road
3. Saffold House – 235 North 2nd Street
4. McLeod – 668 N. Main Street
5. Brick Cottage – 239 E. Washington Street
6. Rabbit House – 506 Candler Lane
7. Massey – 511 Candler Lane
8. Madison-Morgan Cultural Center
9. Morgan County African-American Museum
10. Rose Cottage/Rogers House
11. Steffen Thomas Museum of Art
A. Allmond – 258 Academy Street
B. Saffold House – 235 North 2nd Street
C. McLeod – 668 N. Main Street
D. Wilbanks – 204 E. Washington Street
E. Strelecki – 265 Pine Street
F. Jones – 548 S. Main Street
G. Broyles – 780 Dixie Avenue
H. Madison Baptist Church
I. First United Methodist Church
J. Madison Presbyterian Church
K. Calvary Baptist Church
L. Church of the Advent
In addition to the historic homes listed above, your Holiday Tour of Homes ticket gets you free admission to several attractions and museums, as well as two holiday concerts in between the daytime and candlelight tours both nights! Enjoy holiday music performed by local organist Mark Argo in the gorgeous Madison Presbyterian Church on November 30th, and head to the Madison Baptist Church the next night for a performance by the Morgan County High School Chorus! Heritage Hall, Rogers House, Rose Cottage, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the Morgan County African American Museum, the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, the Madison Baptist Church, Madison Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church of the Advent, First United Methodist Church and Calvary Baptist Church are also included with your tour ticket!
If you’d like more information on attending this spectacular event, please click here.
Thanks for reading, y’all! Happy Holidays!