A signature event


Scores of people circulated through town,
learning about its architecture, history and more

PENDLETON — James and Amanda Wallace live in McCordsville, but on Sunday afternoon they decided to ride their bikes through the streets of Pendleton.
Their goal was to hit all the stops on Pendleton Porch Party, a Madison County Bicentennial event that included 13 private homes and a handful of public locations, where participating homeowners and others shared stories and information about their home and the town.
“I adore Pendleton. I feel it’s like stepping into a Hallmark movie,” Amanda Wallace said. “It’s just so cozy and warm — I just love it.”
“I’m enjoying the day and the beautiful old architecture,” James said.

Story continues below photos.

The Wallaces had been to several homes on Broadway Street and had just arrived at South Madison Community Foundation in time for the second set of historical presentations by a trio of guest speakers:
Madison County Historian Stephen spoke about the Underground Railroad in the county (see column, at right)
Kevin Kenyon, who has been involved in local historical efforts, including through the Pendleton Historic Preservation Commission, presented a timeline of significant local events
Deb Hale, regent for the Kikthawenund Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, talked about some of the Revolutionary Patriots who found their way to southern Madison County and what the group is doing to preserve their stories.
Other homes on the tour were on Main, Water and State streets, all within a block or two of downtown, where many businesses were open for the occasion.
All of the homes had signs in their yards identifying them as part of the event, and they had prepared in a variety of ways, often displaying write-ups about their homes, old photographs and historical objects.
Rachel Christenson, former town planner — whose house at 300 S. Broadway St. was built in 1917 by George L Kinnard, a man instrumental in having a swimming pool (an area in the creek) built in Falls Park in 1921 — had all of that, including refreshments set up on an original diving board from that time.
Pendleton First United Methodist Church — which itself is celebrating its bicentennial this year — was also a stop, along with the Pendleton Historical Museum in Falls Park, and the Carnegie Learning Center (formerly the Carnegie Library).
“I just like the history of the town and the history of the houses,” said Jerry Graham, who lives in Fall Creek Township and was visiting stops with his wife, Terri.
Pam Jones, whose early 20th century house at 117 W. Water St. was on the tour, said those who asked questions seemed to fall into one of two camps: those who currently live in a historic home or those considering buying one.
Jones, whose husband, Bob, is a former town councilman and volunteer firefighter, counted 65 names in their guestbook near the end of the event, which ran from 1 to 5 p.m.
“I think everybody had a good time because they kept telling me,” she said.
One interesting story the Wallaces said they liked involved homeowners who found a slot in a wall in a bathroom. They didn’t know it was for the disposal of old razor blades until they found a pile of them inside the wall during renovations.
Amy Turner, Pendleton site coordinator for the Madison County Bicentennial Committee, said she thought Pendleton Porch Party “went very well,” with some spots reporting visits from 125 people.
“That’s exactly what we wanted to see happen, is people coming out and having conversations with each other,” she said.
The porch event was Pendleton’s second and final county bicentennial affair — “our signature event,” Turner said, with the first event being a mural unveiling (see related story, Page 1), which took place Friday.
“There are plenty of other bicentennial events going on in other parts of the county, but that was our portion,” she said.
For a calendar of events and information about Madison County history, visit madisoncounty200.com.

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