Victorian Christmas celebrated at Carroll County Farm Museum


November 20, 1995|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHRISTMAS is coming. If you haven't found evidence of this in the shops and malls, I recommend the perfect place to find Christmas.

The smells, tastes, sights and sounds of an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas will be filtering throughout the entire Carroll County Farm Museum complex from Saturday through Dec. 3.

Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is $1; children under 6 are admitted free. Every day, Santa will be on hand in the broom maker's house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering candy canes to children.

The irresistible romantic charm of the 1800s will be re-created in the decorations, music and foods offered at the Victorian holiday.

"This is my favorite period," said Farm Museum Director Dottie Freeman. "Everything is decorated in pinks and mauves, intertwined with the traditional reds and greens.

"The tree is adorned with hand-made ornaments," and many of the decorations on the mantle and throughout the farm museum also are hand-made, she said.

"These decorations were made by people who took the workshops we offered this year," she added, noting that the farm museum has been sponsoring workshops since October that will continue through the first week of December.

"The workshops were a new addition that we implemented to gain some volunteer artisans, as well as to give people a chance to make things with their hands like they did in the old days," Ms. Freeman said. "At each workshop participants made one item for themselves and one or more for the farm museum."

As visitors enter the farmhouse, a kissing ball in the front entry will introduce them to the romance of the era. A giant tree, trimmed in the traditional manner, and velvet roses on the mantle will add to the festive air in the parlor.

A holiday tea will be celebrated in the midst of calico quilt ornaments, papier-mache icicles and Santas, and Christmas stockings will hang in the children's bedroom.

The aromas that waft on the air from the kitchen will cause stomachs to growl in anticipation as food is cooked on an old-fashioned cook stove.

"We have been fortunate enough to get Emma Beaver to cook up treats from the Victorian period," Ms. Freeman said. "She has a cook stove in her house, too, and all of the foods are done by hand. Her hot chocolate is just unreal, it is so good."

Foods for sale will include homemade soups, sandwiches, beverages and desserts, such as pies, cakes and rice puddings.

The General Store will be open and stocked with holiday goodies, and sales of gingerbread houses, greenery, wreaths and poinsettias will be featured. Throughout the complex, artisans will demonstrate skills as they were performed in the 1800s.

In addition to the sights, smells and tastes of the 1800s Christmas, visitors can capture the sounds. Entertainment will include harpist Barbara McCourt, Common Ground on the Hill's Walt Michael on the hammered dulcimer, Robert Miller and Chuck Mooser on banjo and guitar, and the Victorian Parlor Ensemble, a group of women singers who re-enact the period through music as well as costume.

"I wish we could get more people to visit at night," Ms. Freeman said.

Candles light the way to the decorated and lighted farm house. "Tori Fowler, singer and organist, will play the old pump organ in the parlor. If [visitors] would just come out at night they would see how beautiful the farm museum is at dark, with music filtering over the public address system and luminaries lighting the way."

Information: 848-7775.

Kiwanis fruit sale

The annual Kiwanis fruit sale is being sponsored by Westminster Kiwanis Club. Member Bill Miller said, "I've been in the club years and they have been holding this sale annually since I joined and I know it goes back to years before I joined."

Fruits offered for the sale include navel oranges or tangelos at $16 a case or $9 a half-case, and pink grapefruit at $15 a case or $8 a half-case.

Orders must be placed by tomorrow.

Fruit pickup will take place at Westminster Shopping Center behind the Citgo station from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 9.

To order Christmas fruit, call 876-2068, 875-2327 or 876-2463, or contact a Kiwanis member.

Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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