Madison Town & Country Holiday Home Tour

Back in December, I went on a holiday tour of homes in Madison Georgia. I had planned to share these photos before now but I’ve been unable to download them from my phone. Does anyone have a Samsung Galaxy III? Got an easy method for downloading pics to your computer?

In the past, with all the other phones I’ve ever owned, I just connected them to my computer via a USB cable and my computer automatically recognized the phone and let me download the pics. For some reason my computer will not recognize that there are any photos on the Galaxy phone.

Several months ago, I downloaded an app to my phone that was created for this purpose. It worked great in the beginning but stopped working about a month ago. I’ve tried numerous times to get it to work over the past few weeks but I kept getting an error message. Today on a lark, I tried it again and it worked. I’m guessing there was an update to the phone or something that made the app no longer work and maybe they finally updated the app.

In any case, I finally got the photos off my phone today and onto my computer. It’s been so long since I took the tour, I’ve forgotten a good bit, but I’ll share what I can recall about these homes.

The next three houses were not on the tour but I snagged a photo just to share them. I love a little cottage style home with a porch. Of course, this house is probably a lot bigger than it looks. Many of the cottages that look small from the front go waaaay back once you’re inside.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


Love, love, love homes with dormer windows on all sides. I bet the upstairs/attic rooms are adorable in this home.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


Another pretty home!

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


This Greek Revival home is called the “Honeymoon” home and it was built in 1850. We never got a clear answer on why it was called that. If I can find something online, I’ll add it to this post.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


I love how they decorated around the front door. I asked what type of vine it was and was told Smilax. That sounds like a euphemistic name for a laxative, doesn’t it? Smilax normally has vicious thorns but there are a few varieties that don’t. I guess that’s what they used here since I don’t see any ginormous thorns.

Once we were inside, the entire staircase was decorated with this vine, all the way up the stairs, along the landing, and up the next set of stairs. It was really pretty. Apparently, Smilax doesn’t wilt fast and will last well throughout the holiday season. It was a very popular vine to decorate with back in the day for that reason. I honestly don’t recall seeing it on any other Christmas home tour I’ve been on or maybe I did and just don’t remember. Have you ever seen Smilax while on a holiday home tour?

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes


Here’s a photo from the site I linked to above showing the thorn-less Jackson variety of this plant. I love how it looks!

Jackson Smilax


Okay, back to the Honeymoon house, there were beautiful lanterns on either side of the front door and they were decorated with magnolia leaves and ribbon. Magnolia leaves are another long-lasting greenery that’s awesome for Christmas decorating. I wish my magnolia tree had the brown-back leaves like you see here. My Southern Magnolia Grandiflora has leaves with green backs, instead. The brown is such a beautiful contrast when you use the leaves to make garlands and wreaths.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes


I have this thing for hanging lanterns on front porches. When I had a  front porch added to my home, that was one of the features I most wanted. It’s a long, long way up to that lantern, isn’t it?

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Tour of Homes


This home was one of my very favorites on the tour. They called it “Bookhaven” because it’s owned by two librarians. Oh, how I wish I could have taken photos inside. If you love books as much as I do, you would have loved this home.

Each room of the home was filled to the brim with bookshelves and lots and lots of books. Each room had a theme and ALL the books in that room were of that theme. For example (hope I’m remembering this correctly) one room had a War theme and all the books in that room had to do with the history of various wars and the famous leaders/generals etc… who were involved.

Another room’s theme was Sherlock Holmes and all the books in that room were Sherlock Holmes mysteries and lots of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. I think there was a “Film” room with lots of film/movie star books and memorabilia. I could have spent a week in each room! Definitely one of my favorite homes on the tour!

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


This home was named “Hilltop” and it was another favorite.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


This home was Rogers House. It’s one of the homes that’s a museum home of sorts and can be toured anytime. I didn’t take photos inside…bad blogger.

Rogers House


This was Rose Cottage, another public house open for tours throughout the year.  It was modestly furnished and again I didn’t take any photos, except one.



This painting stopped me dead in my tracks. I don’t remember now if it was in Rose Cottage or Rogers House but it  definitely caught my eye because the boy in it looked so mad.  Maybe he resented having to sit for the painting. Wish I knew the history behind it.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


Behind either the Rogers House or Rose Cottage, I saw this tree. (Those two houses were side by side so I keep mixing them up in my memory.) I was trying my best to figure out what that was hanging on the tree–what kind of tree it was.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


Then I looked down and saw this. Isn’t that a Pomegranate? I looked online and amazingly, you can grow them in Georgia. I had no idea! According to Walter Reeves, a local gardening guru here in Georgia, if you find a Pomegranate tree at an abandoned home place, you can propagate it by hardwood cuttings. Wonder why more folks don’t grow those now? I’ve never seen one until now. Interesting, huh?

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


Then I saw this tree…

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


I never did figure out what kind of tree it was. Do those look like pears? I really need to do some research on what we can grow here! Do I sound like a city girl or what?

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


It was pretty much impossible to take pics on the Candlelight tour with a cell phone, but I couldn’t resist trying to get a photo of the house they were calling, “The Porch House.” There was a huge screen on one wall and the owners show movies on the screen and invite neighbors to come watch. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?! I want to live where neighbors do that! 🙂 You can just barely see the screen against the far wall on the left.

Madison 30th Annual Town & Country Holiday Tour


There was another home I saw during the daytime. I have several pics I want to share of it so I’ll post those tomorrow since this post is getting so long. See you tomorrow with one more home tour from the Madison Holiday Tour of Homes.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Susan, about the picture of the little boy, when I was a docent during our spring pilgrimage I learned there were many traveling painters that had portraits prepainted except for the head. Some painters even bought the prepainted from older artists that no longer traveled. This was most likely the case. The finished portrait would be done in a short amount of time Facial expressions were not a big concern but rather just to have a picture if the child since so many children died at early ages.

  2. Smilax was a very popular choice for tablescapes during the 50’s – 70’s. After the 80’s, it became incredibly expensive, and most florists no longer stocked it. It’s so beautiful. I haven’t seen it in a long time. My mother-in-love used it all the time on her tables. Regarding downloading phone pics. Sometimes I just email them to myself. Then I can just drag and drop them from my mail to my photo editing program. Works every time. Cherry Kay

    • I loved how it looked around the door. I can see why it was popular! Wonder why it became so expensive? Maybe folks just weren’t growing it as much. I would love to have some growing to decorate with, as long as it was the thorn-less kind. I thought of emailing them to myself but I had taken so many of each scene, I was afraid it would take me forever. That’s what I get for taking so many of each scene. 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh Susan! I have that phone, and I thought it was just me! I’m such a technophobe so I just figured I was doing something wrong. Even though I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having issues, it kinda makes me feel better, kwim? A couple of months ago I was in Manhattan and the only camera I had was my phone’s. I took lots of pictures (about 40) of a beautiful Christmas shop and the only way I could get them was to email EACH AND EVERY ONE to myself. To make matters worse, I had a poor connection in my house so I had to get in the car and drive a few miles and did it all in the parking lot of a high school. Took about an hour! What we do for our blogs, eh?! lol I’d love to know the name of that app if you don’t mind sharing.

    These houses are so lovely. Nothing like a true southern home IMO.

  4. I am guessing Rabbit tracks, but what do I know! LOL

    The houses to visited are beautiful! I would love to see inside. Can’t wait to see more pictures. 🙂

    I am heading to the Virginia Flower and Garden show tomorrow in Virginia Beach, VA

    • I searched and search online after I published the post and the closest I could find was bunny tracks but none looked exactly like these. I hope someone can tell us, Mary. 🙂
      That sounds like so much fun! You will be really craving spring after tomorrow!

  5. Love these lovely homes. I wonder if that unknown tree is a pawpaw? I’d love to drive by in the summer and see if that’s what it is. Please keep us posted if someone identifies it.

  6. Susan, smilax grows wild in Southern woods. My mother (b. 1916) and her sisters used to gather it for decorating at Christmas.It is a nuisance in south Alabama because it multiplies so and must be dug up to kill it. The thornless variety is called “Jackson Vine” and is very popular in north Alabama where it is used for shade on porches. I did an experiment once and a long piece of it looked fresh for a whole week without being in water. So it’s perfect for decorating inside. I have some growing on our front porch in South Alabama where it has raised a lot of eyebrows! And a lot of questions! I love Jackson Vine.

    • Linda, is Jackson vine as invasive as the other kinds? When your Mom gathered it, was she having to gather the kind with thorns? I hope they were able to find the thorn-less kind. Jackson is the variety that’s in that photo with the red door. I love how it looks!

  7. Susan…Laxative?…you crack me up!! 🙂
    I think maybe you had a deer visit you, looks like their tracks with the points.
    Hilltop House, that was the name of the home of Beatrix Potter. Loved all the photos of the houses and would have loved to have seen the one with the libraries. I always think of all the dusting one would have to do with so many books.

  8. I have a Samsung galaxy phone as well and cannot download photos from it via the cord. I can’t remember exactly what the error message says, it has been so long since it worked. I remember I googled it at the time and there were lots of people with similar problems. I have my photos go to Google+ on my computer and I download them from there. My phone syncs them. Sometimes it take longer than others but usually it is pretty quick.

  9. Esther Wiserich says

    Susan, every time I view the beautiful pictures on your blog, I feel like Alice in Wonderland. There’s nothing like a trip down the rabbit hole to view the wonders that I wouldn”t ordinarily see. It’s truly dreamy and it fills my fantasy of living in one of these homes, and the fun of approaching the front door of each home and wondering, “what will I find inside?” I keep a large stack of Colonial Homes Magzines from back in the 90s on hand, and it soothes my soul to simply look through one of these magazines and the beauty that unfolds within. So very glad I found your blog…for a short time I can be Alice among all the wonders of colonial living of long ago. .

  10. Check to see if your phone has Bluetooth on it (my Samsung from England does). If so, you can send the photos from your phone to your computer (as long as you have the Bluetooth feature activated on your computer) as it will pick it up. Good luck!

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

      Melissa, are you actually in England, by any chance?

      Susan, I have a similar problem with my iphone. If I have already uploaded photos to one computer, it doesn’t want to let me upload them to another one. :X (mad face) What’s with these gizmos? I remember being the only little girl I knew who didn’t like dolls. They were boring and wouldn’t do anything with me or for me, like play a game or get me a sandwich. (And let’s not even talk about their eyes.) 😮 Sometimes it feels like I’ve just traded problems with dolls for problems with technology. 🙁

      But the houses are beautiful! And thanks for sharing about Smilax. I’m going to see if I could grow it here. It’s so delicate looking, which differs so much from the hearty and heavy looking evergreen garlands we usually see. It would be a wonderful addition for decorating. Wish I could have been on that tour. So many beautiful houses. And that library house …. they would have found me hiding in a closet some where … I wouldn’t have wanted to leave! 🙂

  11. Isn’t “tracking” mysterious…we too found “tracks” we could not identify – over the garden wall, down our steps…oooohhhh…. franki

  12. We have numerous paw-paw trees in our woods. Don’t think they are safe to eat. Remember the verse, “way down yonder in the paw-paw patch” Think it was recited while jumping rope. Do people even jump rope for pleasure anymore? Never mastered double dutch.

  13. Use the Dropbox app to send pics from your phone to computer. It is quick as a wink!

  14. Love all of the photos. Madison is a wonderful place to visit any time of year. I have never been on the Holiday Tour, but I would love to go. There are many antique shops there and the downtonn look like an old fashioned village. The candy at the Antique Sweets Store is to die for.

  15. First time I saw Smilax was when our garden club took a Christmas home tour in Edenton, NC. They used it the same as in your pictures above. It is so delicate looking and stays green for a long time. Thanks for sharing these beautiful homes. Vikki in VA

  16. Beverly Kennedy says

    Susan, I think you have deer tracks! I have had lots of deer tracks in the Connecticut snow and they do love to eat bulbs. You may want to cover your daffodil pots with some chicken wire to prevent the deer or rabbit if that is what you have from destroying your bulbs. About the pomegranate tree, I know a gardener in Jackson,Mississippi who has a beautiful pomegranate tree. I saw it in bloom and again when it had pomegranates on it. If I lived down south I would try one. It is lovely and so unique. Also, thanks for the information on the smilax. It is lovely and used to be really popular when I lived in Mississippi for both the holidays and for weddings. You can make a beautiful, feathery wreath with smilax. As always, enjoyed your blog and the home tour!!!

  17. THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE post today! Loved the anecdotal thoughts, etc.

  18. Juanita in OH says

    Happy February 1st. Your photos do such good things for me. Since I don’t get out much (especially in winter) I feel like I am actually out on a tour with you and that is so good for my heart, soul and mind! Each home has it’s own special flair. I am most intrigued by the pomegrante tree, I’ve never seen one before. I also LOVE that your posts educate me. TFS and have a wonderful weekend.

  19. The fruit on the tree in your pictures look like Quince. They stay on the tree longer than most pears and are good for making quince preserves.

  20. re the smilax: I remember when I was growing up in the fifties it was a very popular filler for wedding flowers and decorating the church in particular, even though it was often used as tendrils in the bouquets. I suppose the reason was that it was very plentiful then and as you pointed out, it does not wilt. Funny you should say it sounds like a laxative, because there was some product back then, too, called “Similax” which possibly was a laxative? Or baby formula? Can’t remember exactly what it was, only the name and I remember thinking that it was too bad the vine sounded so similar!

  21. I also thought those looked like deer tracks, although I’m certainly no wildlife expert. Beautiful homes and beautiful pictures. I’m kind of drawn to portraits these days so I loved the one of the little boy.

  22. Susan, thanks so much for this post! I love the smaller victorian homes! They have so much character!
    I would love to own one!

  23. Could have been quince – did It have thorns?

  24. As another commenter supposed, those are quince that you saw. The Richter Cottage, another of Madison’s museum houses, also has pomegranates and quinces. Yards at both houses were planted to represent the antebellum landscape. Also, the portrait of the young boy would have been in the Rogers House. Rose Cottage is an African-American resource. Glad you enjoyed Madison!

    • I was kind-of guessing that’s what they were going for (recreating the trees/gardens you would have found back then) after reading Walter Reeves statement on his site about taking cutting from Pomegranates trees when finding them in the yards abandoned old home places. Thanks for clearing that up about the other tree, too.

  25. bobbi duncan says

    Thank you, Susan, for the lovely pics. I love Madison–such a quintessential ” southern” village that reminds me of the sweet things I miss about living in the south. I have never been to Madison over the holidays so that was an exciting tour. Am so glad I have friends in GA. so that I can still come back and enjoy all the wonderful places held within it’s borders and get to visit dear friends as well.

  26. Susan….I’m pretty sure those are deer tracks….I have seen these same tracks on occasion around my yard….as well as the recent snow…..I don’t live near the woods….so I thought “no deer around here”…but my husband said yes it was deer….then one morning I was surprised around 5:00 am …gotten up early than usual as I had an early event to attend….and came out my front door….and ‘hello”….. a deer standing at one of my planters eating my bulbs….not sure who was surprised more (me or the deer).

    • That’s amazing! I think you’re right…I’ve looked at tracks online and deer tracks do appear to be the closest match. I’ve never seen but my neighbors further down the street have a few times. That makes me feel bad, he must have been hungry to be brave enough to come into the yard.

  27. Have you looked into ‘Drop Box’? You can use it with your phone and open the pics on your computer.

  28. Susan, What an interesting post. I have never seen a Quince tree OR a Pomegranate tree…….Duh, I just thought they came from Publix magical grocery store………Donk! I also have never seen or heard of Similax so I am excited about that…..especially as it does not wilt and looks just lovely draped on the doors. I’ll bet the staircase was enchanting…..too bad not pix of it since it was Christmas time and I am an XMAS Nut! Happy February………..

  29. Pam Mowbray says

    I know I’m almost two years late in reading this but I just stumbled upon your blog. The tree that you questioned is an Osage Orange, at least I’m pretty sure it is based on your pic. The fruit is not edible, but they look pretty in arrangements and on wreaths. Colonial Williamsburg will use them in their Christmas decorations. They also repel bugs so people will collect them and put them in their attics and under the house. Hope this helps

  30. Claire Hallman says

    This was from a long time ago but I enjoyed seeing it today. I want to tour Madison [and Marietta] some Christmas in the future.
    I think the tree is persimmon, that may be the same as paw-paw.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!