Historical Society gears up for Tour of Homes in Lake Mills

Published 9:19 am Thursday, November 17, 2022

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After taking two years off due to the pandemic, the Lake Mills Twilight Tour of Homes will take place Dec. 9 to kick off festivities as part of the Lake Mills Holiday Festival the next day. 

Four homes will be on display: 44067 215th Ave., 104 Maple Court, 104 Shady Oaks Lane. and 302 N. 1st Ave. E. 

“They’re all decorated for Christmas,” said Marilyn Hoffman of the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society.

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According to Hoffman, the tour — sponsored by the Lake Mills Historical Society — features local homes open for the holidays. The event started as a way for the community to do something fun and raise money. Money raised from the event will go towards maintaining the 1901 Victorian House.

Besides maintaining the home, the organization tries to keep artifacts from the early 1900s. There is also an early country schoolhouse a block north of Arlington Veterans Park..

“We have to maintain that and maintain [the Victorian House],” she said. 

She called the tour, which will take place from 5 to 7 p.m., an enjoyable time where people have the opportunity to visit friends and see decorated homes with an opportunity to have treats. 

The tour started after the Historical Society received their 501(c)(3) in 1999, and the tour itself began shortly thereafter.

Hoffman’s favorite part about the tour was seeing the different homes.

“I’m usually a hostess at one of the homes, and I love seeing all the people come in and just having a good time,” she said.

The Twilight Tour used to be held during daylight hours, but the society felt having it later when others had Christmas lights on made it more festive. 

Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at any of the homes or at the Victorian House, at 308 S. Lincoln Ave. and are not available for early purchase.

Besides the home tours, refreshments, including bread pudding, apple cider and coffee, will be available at the Victorian House.

“It’s a community event that people look forward to,” she said. “It’s a social time for people to get together, and it’s a fundraiser for us,” she said. 

The Lake Mills Historical Society event typically draws 70 to 100 visitors. 

“Everybody that comes really enjoys it,” she said. “You see people having fun visiting with their friends and family.”

Candy Hanna, a member of the Historical Society, was at the Victorian House Monday and has helped decorate for the last seven to eight years. She described this year’s tour as a “good mix” of older and slightly younger houses.

“I enjoy meeting the people, and I enjoy seeing it at different homes,” she said. “It’s always fun to see how different people decorate, stuff like that.”

After the Twilight Tour of Homes, a number of events are planned for the next day, starting with an all-day holiday retail scavenger hunt hosted by the Lake Mills Chamber Development Corp. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Lake Mills Library (102 S. Lake St.) will have come-and-go crafts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christmas classics will play at The Mills theater (103 W. Main) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a Christmas light car cruise from 5 to 8 p.m. 

For a list of activities, visit the Lake Mills Holiday Festival Facebook page.

Contact Cassie Johnson, executive director of Lake Mills Chamber Development Corp., with any questions at 641-592-5253.