Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: NMHS Newsletter Nov 1997

1997 Holiday Homes Tour

In 1972 the North Manchester Historical Society cooperated with the FunFest committee and Child Care Association to present a historic tour which also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the covered bridge. Five houses were scheduled but at the last minute one had to be withdrawn because of the owner's illness.

Every kind of house has been represented from the oldest Greek Revival structures in town such as the Lantz house (part of the hotel)1847 to more recent energy efficient houses. Big and small: all are special. The tours are an important activity for the society. Some people are drawn because they are interested in the restoration; many admire the beauty of the houses and the decorations. A record number of tickets was sold for the Christmas tour of 1983 when 1200 people passed through the Peabody-Dziabis home.
The income from the project supports the Historical Society's work for the benefit of the Manchester community.

The tour headquarters this year is the Blocher Community Room of the North Manchester Public Library. A continuous slide presentation of the homes featured on past tours will be shown there. Refreshments and memorabilia will be offered. Six homes plus the former Carnegie Library will be shown on the December 7, 1997 Tour. Research in the abstracts forms the basis for the sketches of the history of the homes.

Steve and Debbie Dotson own the house at 205 W. Fourth St. They saw potential in a nondescript house with overgrown shrubs and they have worked hard to reveal the true beauty of this 1893 Folk Victorian style house with Queen Anne surface decorations. They removed a layer of broken stucco and a layer of fake brick siding to reveal the original wood which they painted in eye-appealing colors. The original fretwork, oak Eastlake style woodwork and moldings, floors and dining room pocket door are the perfect background for all the beautiful antiques the Dotsons have collected.

Tighlman I Siling, a colonel in the Civil War and a local furniture manufacturer, built a splendid Greek Revival house at 202 W. Second St. in 1858. A number of changes over the years include the removal of a wall between the living and dining rooms, adding a fireplace, family room, kitchen and garage and changing the front porch. Gaye and the late John Eckert, superintendent of Manchester Schools, bought the home in 1985. Gaye and daughter, Megan, enjoy living here amidst family antiques. The imported floral carpeting in Gaye's office is a special feature.

The unusual stucco house at 111 S. Elm St of the Arts and Crafts style was built around 1912 by Tobias Peugh in the garden of their first house. It was purchased by Charlie and Karen Macke in 1995. The exterior has experienced little change except for a marvelous deck designed and built by Charlie. A glorious view of the Eel River is seen from the deck as well as the upstairs master bedroom Beautiful gum woodwork and copper door hinges, knobs, and pulls are interesting features. Karen will play her grandmother's handcarved oak organ at various times during the afternoon.

Rose Mary Olinger and her late husband Fritz bought the house at 202 S. Maple St in 1965. After returning from the Civil War, Captain Elias Rager built this home for his wife and five children around 1865. The house is a mix of styles including Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate. The original siding was clapboard and there probably was a hood over the front door. The family room and garage were added in the 1940s by the Kramer family. The Olingers added two bedrooms above the garage. They raised eight children in this spacious home. Most of the antiques scattered throughout the house are family treasures.

The home of Robert and Marie Quick at 203 N. Mill St originally was the carriage house of the large brick Italianate house on the corner owned by Dr. Ladoska Z. Bunker since 1933. Dr. Bunker had the carriage house made into a dwelling around 1939. Huge timbers from area woodlands form the support of this cozy two story home that has a Colonial Revival style. Both structures were built by David T. Risher around 1884. Many of Robert and Marie's antique treasures were other folk's throw-aways. Marie related that during the early days of their marriage, Robert was often asked to haul away discards with his pickup. Some of this furniture was rescued by Marie and lovingly restored.

Bob and JoLynn Robison rescued this circa 1876 farm style house at 505 N. Sycamore in 1991. They have carefully restored missing front porch posts, railing and gable ornaments. Doing one room at a time, they have leveled floors, repaired or replaced walls, replaced woodwork with Eastlake style replicas, painted, stenciled and wallpapered. An inviting window seat in the dining room is a special feature. The kitchen was gutted and now is a cozy room with beamed ceiling, corner sink, lots of gorgeous oak cabinets and touches of auction finds. Family antiques and treasures enhance the various rooms.

The Daggett, Schlitt & Stoops Law Office at 204 W. Main St is the town's former Carnegie public library. It was purchased by Al and Ruth Ann Schlitt and Eldon and Kathy Stoops in 1996 for their law office. They diligently worked at keeping the integrity of the Arts and Crafts architecture as offices were carved out of the main floor. The second floor was restored to the original assembly room with the exception of the book shelves needed for their law library. This building was completed in 1912 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.