1974 Restoration of House of a Thousand Candles
LAKE LORE: The Dale H. Longs are putting the finishing touches on "The House of a Thousand Candles" which inspired Meredith
Nicholson to write a romantic novel that was a terrific best seller in 1905.
Contrary to local supposition the novel was not written in the now Long house, but at the a Colonial house at 1500 Delaware
Street in Indianapolis.
According to what Mr. Nicholson told to Lakewater many years ago it practically wrote itself. In stead of setting it in some mythical
kingdom, he used Indiana instead. He was a guest of the Vonneguts and Muellers many times and also the Eli Lilly family at Lake
Wawasee. making it a sort of conglomerate setting.
The Long family are from LaGrange, Illinois, although they have only recently established their permanent residence here and have
been coming to the lake summers over two generations, occupying rental property.
They are an interesting, distinguished and productive family. The Longs had eleven children. Dale Long's father and mother had
eleven and so did his grandfather and mother. Mrs. Long's parents had four daughters but their parents also had eleven. Her
grandparents also had eleven!
The entrance hall to the restored and added-to house has the branches of the family tree painted on the walls by the Long's
daughter, a beautiful and talented Puerto Rican artist. Each member of the families have a branch with their names listed, more
than fifty in number.
This hall opens on the huge dining room with one table for the children and another for the elders. One of the Culvers occupied
the place at one time and Roscoe Stevens poured the foundation for this addition. Mrs. Culver wanted a huge dining room and she
got it. It was so huge that both Roscoe and Mrs. Culver decided to shorten it a bit and this is now a sun porch.
Any way you take it, the house has local historical significance. If my dear friend Nick could see it he would be happy with what the
Longs are doing. The "House of a Thousand Candles" practically wrote itself from October, 1904 to the next May. He said he couldn't
wait to go upstairs and get going on it every night.
More on this romantic house next week when it belonged to the Wolfes, publishers of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, and the late
Charles Hughes, a steel salesman, who abandoned it for about 15 years after his infant child drowned in the lake. He moved to Florida
and sold it to the Longs.
When the Wolfes acquired The House of a Thousand Candles they really made it over. They were a fun loving wealthy family who
owned the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, a powerful newspaper politically. They sailed and fished and whiled away many happy hours
with the Gignilliats, the Culver boys, and Blythe and Thomas A. Hendricks. Thomas was named after his illustrious ancestor who
was a vice-president of the United States when Chester A. Arthur was president. Later they both became Indianapolis newspaper
men and a close companion of mine. In 1931 they, were radio broadcasters who introduced me at the opening of the Notre Dame
stadium at South Bend when I was running the news end of the old News-Times.
In 1921 Bob Wolfe and I were ushers at Tom's wedding to Peg Cothrell of Indianapolis. Mrs. Terre Haute Tarkington Jameson,
sister of Booth who wrote novels like The Gentleman From Indiana, Alice Adams, and The Magnificent Ambersons, and won Pulitzer
prizes, was a statuesque woman and carried a shepherd's crook. It is an untruth that floated around for many years in Indianapolis that
Mrs. Jameson was escorted down the aisle at Tom's wedding by an usher who, gallantly extending his shaky arm , blurted incoherently,
''Come with me, my little Bo-Peep.''
Now back to the spectacular Wolfes . They built a spooky basement, with grotesque painted walls. They invited guests to go down a
flight of stairs which collapsed and slid the victim into a cage with a stuffed lion. Undoubtedly, this was copied from Hinky Dink and
Bathouse John's fun-saloon on South Clark Street, there they were adjoining aldermen in the Chicago Tenderloin.
Charles Hughes, a steel salesman, was the next occupant. He and his wife suffered a succession of tragedies, moved to Florida and
never came back. Dr. and Mrs. Donald Reed, a registered nurse, were very kind and helpful in their last years, going to Florida for long
periods to help them.
It Must Be Lakwewater by Bob Kyle Jul 18 & 25 , 1974