Marion library plans 11th annual home tour Sunday


Now in its 11th year, the Marion City Library Christmas Home Tour will showcase 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. 4, and will include 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 Lenore and Jerry Dieter, 737 S. Freeborn; Linda and Bub Lovelady, 747 S. Freeborn; Cheryl and Jay Christensen, 812 S. Roosevelt; and Mattie and Lucas King, 509 Walnut.

Marler said she and the other organizers of the tour have not set a goal for themselves.

“Usually we have about 200 people tour the homes,” she said.

Jeanice Thomas, one of the tour organizers, offered a brief description of each of the homes on the tour, noting that two of the locations are at the south end of Freeborn.

Lenore and Jerry Dieter

“The Dieters collect Fontanini nativity pieces with more than 30 figures,” she said, “and they clearly love pets as the little scene demonstrates.”

Explaining what she meant, Thomas said that in addition to the usual donkey and sheep, visitors will find a dog and a trio of cats in the mix.

Many of the rooms, she said, have a particular theme.

“An angel clutching a sprig of mistletoe hangs over the entrance to the garden room, which symbolizes hope,” Thomas said. “In the small laundry room is a Charlie Brown Christmas theme, and the kitchen symbolizes love.”

Four versions of Saint Nicholas stand on the mantel before a portrait of Santa created by Lenore.

“Doubly talented, both as a musician and visual artist, Lenore’s home demonstrates this at every hand,” she said.

Linda and Bub Lovelady

“Linda collects snowmen, and she probably owns 75 or more of them,” Thomas said.

The snowmen will be everywhere visitors go—from a suitcase and antique screen to a star and clock.

Those on the tour will also be invited into the kitchen, which is Christmas all year, beginning with the vintage round chrome kitchen table, she said, and a lighted tree made of egg cartons created in the 1940s.

The family room overlooks the Lovelady’s backyard and is home for Bub’s wooden fishing lures, old rods and reels, tackle boxes, duck decoys and chainsaw bears.

“Three Alpine trees with appropriate rustic ornaments flank the fireplace on the other side,” Thomas said, “and the room’s large tree is illuminated by bubble lights and laden with handmade decorations.”

The last stop at the Lovelady’s home is the garage with a restore 1931 Chevy coupe that would be good enough to give even Santa a ride, she said.

“How many garages include a Christmas tree?” she said, adding that many other holiday items await those on the tour.

Mattie and Lucas King

Walnut Street is one of the more picturesque old brick streets in Marion and the home of Mattie and Lucas King adds to it. Built in the 1920s, Thomas said, the house is a farm home that was saved from floods by moving it into the city after Marion Reservoir was completed.

Garland surrounds the front door and a full-size tree shines in the front window, she said.

“Visitors entering the kitchen will see the ceiling made from reclaimed lumber from gym seats,” she said.

In their Colorado Room, which the Kings named because it is like walking into a mountain lodge, has a wreath decked with a sled, a portion of an antler and pine cones.

“Mattie also collected children’s books,” Thomas said, “and she adds a title each year and writes the date in the front. The family reads the new book aloud each season.”

Those on the tour will more than likely enjoy this home for its old-fashioned family Christmas inside.

Cheryl and Jay Christensen

The Christensens begin decorating for Christmas after the Thanksgiving holiday

Visitors will find the entire house a celebration of the holidays, Thomas said.

“In a high niche beside the living room fireplace,” she said, a 17-piece ceramic nativity created by Cheryl’s grandmother, Edna Winter, has been a cherished Christensen heirloom.”

Along the hall, visitors will enter seventh-grader Katelyn’s room with a snow-white tree featuring decorations in neon colors and two smaller tress perched on top of a cabinet.

“A dollhouse is also ready for Christmas,” she said, “with a miniature Santa and his tiny reindeer positioned on the roof, the eaves outlined with lights and a lighted tree in the living room window.”

Their son, Matthew, has one large tree in his room decorated with what he calls “sports stuff.”

The two children, Thomas said, are in charge of the ceramic miniature Victorian village in their “hangout room.”

For more information about the home tour, call 620-382-2442.


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