EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the third in a three-part series on the annual Christmas Tour of Homes.
The annual Christmas Tour of Homes event was started 18 years ago by a few members of the Friends of the Audubon Library System as a fundraiser.
It was decided that the homes on the tour would be more contemporary and not the antebellum-style that are shown during the annual Audubon Pilgrimage in West Feliciana Parish each spring.
When West Feliciana separated from the Audubon library system, the Friends organization continued the tradition of hosting its tour during the annual Christmas in the Country event.
For nearly all of the 18 years, the tour was held on a Sunday, but last year, the annual Christmas parade was bumped to Saturday due to election runoffs, according to Tour of Homes Chairwoman Pat Heurtin.
To accommodate the Women’s Service League, which sponsors the town parade, Friends moved its tour event from Sunday to Saturday.
“Everyone liked the switch so much that the Women’s Service League voted to keep their parade on Sundays, and naturally, the Friends will keep its tour on Saturday,” Heurtin said.
The annual Christmas Tour of Homes is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5 and will include four homes plus St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Each will be adorned with Christmas decorations and are all located north of St. Francisville.
Dwight and Martha Singer’s home, called Briar Creek, is at 11001 Briar Creek Road in the Tunica Hills.
The Singers purchased the property in 1986, and when closing the sale, discovered that a property line ran through the middle of an existing cabin. The Singers owned the kitchen and bath while the previous owner owned the living room.
Luckily, the previous homeowner was receptive to an offer to buy additional acres to save the deal.
Since then, the dog trot cabin has been renovated to include a bedroom wing that must be entered into outside, as well as a den, office, butler’s pantry and screened porch.
The walls are filled with various artwork, including contemporary western artists and Martha Singer’s own paintings.
Under an oak tree in the pasture sits a sheep herder’s wagon, reconstructed by Dwight Singer from a 1920s farm wagon. He encourages everyone to visit his barn, of which he is quite proud, Heurtin said.
The Lindsey home
The home of Dr. Tim and Laura Lindsey and their six children, at 12534 Island Road, is called the Carolina Eye.
Considered an Eastern farmhouse, the Lindsey home was designed by Tim’s father, Lloyd Lindsey Jr., many years before it became Tim and Laura Lindsey’s residence.
Local architect Coco Treppendahl redesigned an addition to the home to fit the Lindseys’ large family of eight.
Since the house backs up to a bluff, Treppendahl removed the front porch and designed the addition to encompass more of the front of the house. The add-on consists of a kitchen, living and dining rooms, with a screened porch off the dining room. A porch upstairs and down are perfect for family gatherings.
An oak tree given to Lloyd Lindsey family’s from Grace Episcopal Church as a house blessing, still grows strong outdoors.
The barns on the property are filled with antique farming equipment that belonged to Lloyd Lindsey, who would attach them to mules for his plowing and planting in the garden.
“What wonderful memories we have shared here with many more to come. Our family is thankful to continue in the footsteps of Tim’s grandfather, Lloyd Lindsey Sr., who developed Lake Rosemound and cared for it deeply,” said Laura Lindsey. “We know he would have been happy to see the fourth generation of Lindseys living here.”
Tour tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com; the West Feliciana Parish Library, 5114 Burnett Road; the Louisiana Gift Basket Company, 5634 Commerce St.; and The Conundrum Book Shop, 11917 Ferdinand St.
On event day, tickets are $30 each and will be available at each of the homes and the library. Children aged 12 and under are admitted free.
For information, call the West Feliciana Library at (225) 635-3364 or Heurtin at (225) 784-2731.