With that being said, I am hoping you will enjoy this week's post consisting of mostly photos (with my own snappy commentary) and a couple video clips showing some of my more recent 2014 Christmas past excursions. These are but three of the five or six Christmas time travel journeys I've taken so far this year, with more to come.
I hope you enjoy them:
|As you can see, throughout the 19th century additions were added onto the original structure.|
|Many historical museums tend to align themselves with the gaudy or the "country living" style of holiday decore', but the fine folks at Waterloo decorate very tasteful with a strong dose of history, which I appreciate.|
Here are a couple of videos I took of a woman playing the pump organ and of the parlor itself.
Hearing the sounds emanating from a 130 year old organ in this old parlor is a time-travel experience in itself.
Okay, I realize the woman playing the organ is not dressed 100% accurate - mind you, she's not a living historian - but the musical pleasure she gave us far out-weighed any fashion inaccuracies you might catch, don't you think?
Plus, she was so very nice to speak with!
Off to the pioneer log cabin we go...
|Just outside the house is a log cabin used to show the pioneering life of the settler family before the farm house was built. Again, the decorations were done very tasteful and, as far as I could tell, historically accurate.|
|I loved the dried fruit ornaments hanging from the cabin Christmas tree.|
|Christmas dinner preparation. Yeah...I'm thinking of Ma Ingalls here. How can I not? I imagine Christmas with the Ingalls family wasn't too far off from what you see here.|
Over at historic Greenfield Village, I was asked to help with a Soldiers Aid Society presentation which took place at the Smiths Creek Depot (built in the late 1850s). This is the infamous depot where, in 1863, an angry conductor threw a young Thomas Edison off the train when the boy accidentally set the baggage car on fire while conducting a chemical experiment using phosphorus.
For the wonderful Holiday Nights Christmas celebration, folks are taken back to roughly the same time of the Edison incident - the period of the American Civil War - and the good folks of town, mostly ladies, have gathered many items to send to our Yankee boys off fighting in the south, things such as canned goods, newspapers and magazines, crochet items, blankets, clothing, and even games.
|On the table are many items being prepared to be sent off as Christmas cheer to our northern boys fighting the southern rebellion. Underneath is one of the boxes being packed for shipping.|
|As you can tell by viewing the left side of this photograph, there were many boxes to be shipped. Our boys, all far from home, would have a very happy Christmas this year!|
|Mrs. Lynch was the head of our local Soldiers Aid Society, and she and her husband invited me to help with the preparation of items.|
|Besides revising my role as the local postmaster, where I explained to the visitors the importance of the mail to the men so far away, I also found myself in charge of the cook stove, which (of course) doubles as a heating stove! The room was toasty!|
|I also cooked the salted ham (a "gift" from the pigs of Firestone Farm) on top of the stove. It was pretty darn good!|
|The station master and his family lived here in the depot back in its hey day, and the folks at Greenfield Village decorated what was once the parlor in the same probable manner as may have been done in the 19th century.|
|Here is a silhouette of Mrs. Lynch. I took this photo from the outside window - it turned out exactly as I had hoped!|
|Here is the Soldiers Aid Society group of Friday December 5th: That's me on the left with Village historical presenter Stephanie next to me, followed by Mr. & Mrs. Lynch. We had a wonderful time that evening! I enjoyed myself immensely.|
As many of you know, I head up a period vocal group known as Simply Dickens. Our specialty is Old World Christmas carols, and we enjoy performing the music that radio does not play. In fact, we've found that most of our audience are usually not too familiar with most of our music at all.
But by the end of our show, we - and the music we perform - have gained a slew of new fans.
|This is Beckie. Say "Hi" to Beckie. ("Hi Beckie!!"). Beckie is a seamstress beyond compare. She made everything you see here but the muff. That new hood is simply awesome! Great job Beckie!|
|Since Simply Dickens sings about wassailing all over the town, a couple of us saw it fit to pose for a photograph with some wassailers (otherwise known as mummers). In this photograph you see Kim and I with our new friends.|
Here is one of the old carols we do, Masters In This Hall:
Christmas has always been a special time for me; my love for the holiday comes directly from my mother, for she would begin the preparations, including decorations, and start to play Christmas music even before Thanksgiving which, in the 1960s and 1970s, was almost unheard of (unlike today when radio stations become full-fledged Christmas stations sometimes even before Hallowe'en!). And to be able to enjoy and celebrate in the manner that I do has been a life-long dream.
It really has.
I suppose I could say Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew Fred speaks for me in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" novel:
The links below will take you to some of my previous Christmas past experiences, including loads of photographs.
Waterloo: Ghosts of Christmas Past 2011
Spirits of Christmas Past 2013
Fort Wayne 2013: An Immersion Experience: Christmas at the Fort
A Christmas Eve Pictorial Through Christmas Past (Revisited) 2013
All You Have To Do Is Ask: Having An 1860s Christmas Celebration
Of course, I'm sure I'll have at least another post or three about Christmas before the season ends.