Holiday Home Tour Presented by Old Town Design Group- December 4 – 5, 2015

The Holiday Home Tour is one of our most popular events of the year. We were fortunate to have such a great line up of homes on the 2014 tour. All of the homes were so unique and each presented a different side of Carmel—architecture, family history, grandeur—and all decorated with individual holiday charm.

The tour began at the beautiful Coxhall Mansion. From there participants toured four gorgeous homes in Carmel: the 1999 Indy Dream Home, the oldest residence in Old Town, a charming ranch home on Main Street, and the historic McShane Home on Range Line Road.

We’d like to thank all those who attended, and we hope you enjoyed it and will come back again December 4-5, 2015!



The Coxhall Mansion was built by Jesse and Beulah Cox in 1974. The design was inspired by a mural of  the Governer’s Mansion in Williamsburg, Virginia that the Coxes discovered in the basement of the original 1865 Victorian home that still stands on the property.

The owners donated the home to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department in 1999.


The McShane house is known to most Carmel residents. It’s been standing here since 1886. You can see the date etched in the transom from the road. Carmel also knows this house because it was abandoned, fell into disrepair and was almost demolished until the Carmel Clay Historical Society, Indiana Landmarks, and the current owners stepped in and save this Carmel landmark.

Francis McShane arrived in Clay Township in 1824 on horseback from Kentucky, found land, and returned with his family the following year. McShane’s sons, Edward and James G., were young boys when they moved to Indiana. The family farmed in what is now the Orchard Park neighborhood. The Italianate vernacular house was built by James G. McShane, replacing an original log structure and his son William build an identical home on the other side of the street.

The current owners purchased the historic landmark in April 2013 and started their labor of love that took until autumn of 2014. And what a job they did! Everything needed attention. No one had been in the home for years except for  vandals and it showed.


The Carmel Clay Holiday Home Tour has shown many dream homes but this year we have an official 1999 Indianapolis Monthly Dream Home, built by W.G. Tait. The 14,000 sq foot luxury home is filled with Brazilian teak, grain-matched walnut, stained glass, and gold leaf. There are 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and two half baths in this five acre estate. The exterior is covered with cedar and redwood trim.



In 1829, John Brewitt, a local fur trader in the area, was deeded 80 acres by the US government in what is now Old Town. His log cabin was torn down 20 years later when the property was deeded to Nathan Hawkins. Hawkins built a farm  house in 1849, believed to be the oldest inhabited home in Old Town today.

The property stayed with the heirs of the Hawkins and Day families until the early 1960s when it was purchased by the Rankins. They lived there until 2006 when they sold the property to the current owners. Their son built an addition and made extensive renovations in 2012 while being careful to maintain the original integrity and structure of the home. The work took ten months to complete.



This ranch style home on W. Main Street was built in 1952 for Jim and Eva Thornberry. Jim was one of the partners at Carmel Screw Products, an important business in Carmel. The current owner is the third owner since the early 50s.

Many of the original finishes were still in the home including gold flocked wallpaper! There was knotty pine in the  breezeway (now enclosed) and in the garage. The knotty pine still covers the garage walls and the original wooden garage doors are still there and still operable. Not many homes in Carmel have a knotty pine garage!

The original owners had no children so they only needed a master bedroom and a guest room.  There is only one bathroom with mostly original finishes. The shower stall (and that was quite modern to have a tub and stall in 1952) has been  refurbished but it wasn’t easy. The shower was constructed in such a way that you could have successfully sought shelter from a tornado in there. The typical 1950s ranch house wasn’t built like this one.

Made possible by  Old Town Design Group











with additional support from Leppert Mortuary


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