Now in its 12th year, the Marion City Library Christmas Home Tour will be showcasing homes with all proceeds benefiting the library, said Janet Marler, director.
This year’s event is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, and includes four homes with refreshments served at the library. Tickets are $5 and will be available at each home the day of the event.
Featured on the tour, Marler said, is the home of Scott and Rolana Heidebrecht, 219 N. Third St.; Garry and Sharlyn Dunnegan, 41 Lakeshore, Marion County Lake and formerly Kingfisher’s Inn; Vickie Kraus, 307 Elm and Bruce and Belinda Skiles, 1914 Quail Creek.
Jeanice Thomas, one of the tour organizers, offered a brief description of the homes on the tour.
Scott and Rolana Heidebrecht
“The Heidebrecht’s 1890 fireplace is bedecked with garlands and a gorgeous angel,” Thomas said.
The couple said they enjoy turning out the other house lights in the evening so they can enjoy the soft Christmas lighting, she said.
“Rolana particularly loves her snowmen collection and she laughs that she often keeps them out until Valentine’s Day,” Thomas said.
In addition to Rolana and Scott, Thomas said, their five sons have holiday decorations in their own bedrooms.
“December is a joyous affair for the Heidebrechts,” Thomas said. “It is a time of family meals and family visits.”
Garry and Sharlyn Dunnegan
The home of Garry and Sharlyn Dunnegan at Marion County Lake is familiar to Marion County residents as “The Old Kingfisher,” Thomas said.
“Sharlyn said she loves Christmas so much that she decorates two homes for the season—one at the lake and the other in Wichita,” Thomas said.
When it comes to Santas, too many is not nearly enough, Thomas said, about a collection of western Santas accumulated by Vickie and her late husband, Don.
“The Elm Street home of Vickie Kraus was constructed by the Hauser family in 1904,” Thomas said.
“Vickie’s living room Christmas tree follows house tradition,” she said, “her tree sitting in a bay window sharing with passersby.”
In addition to the Christmas items, Vickie’s home is full of her collections that include creamers and quilts to antiques and modern pieces.
“Quilts are showcased in many rooms and her signature quilts are displayed on the stair landing,” she said. “Her collection of miniature sewing machines began when at 10 years old she received a tiny Singer sewing machine.”
The family room has another tree and a view from every window, Thomas said.
“This room displays an olden wooden icebox,” she said, “which Vickie said caught Don’s eye. A huge collection of Indian tools and arrowheads, collected from the family ranch, are also located here.”
Bruce and Belinda Skiles
The Skiles also have a large collection of Santas.
“Look for a Santa perched on a trapeze,” Thomas said. “It is one of the hundreds of Santas in Belinda’s collection.”
Located in the country, the couple’s farm home is welcome to visitors.
“Belinda has crafted 50 giant bows, which adorn the trees lining their drive,” she said.
The front porch swing is piled with fir branches and garlands line the steps to their door.
“The original one-and-a-half story home was erected in the late 1800s and added to in 1923,” Thomas said. “The kitchen walls reveal the original stone work around the sink and cabinets.”
The couple’s living room Christmas tree is full of memories.
“They own very few orthodox Christmas ornaments,” she said. “A bevy of rhinos does honor to the late Pete Peterson. The rhinos are joined by other animal ornaments—horses, cats, dogs and raccoons.”
Thomas said there is a story behind the miniature piano on one branch, while another ornament came from Africa.
“This year’s Christmas home tour is brimming with good cheer,” she said. “No corner is left unChristmased.”
According to Marler, there are hundreds of snowmen, glittering trees of all sizes, wreaths, stockings and festive bows.
“Holiday tables are set for Christmas celebrations and because several of the homeowners are prodigious bakers, the scents of sugar cookies and other holiday treats may hover in the air,” she said.
Thomas reminds tour goers to allow plenty of time to visit these homes and take in all they have to offer.
For more information about the tour, call the library at 620-382-2442.