Administration Activities: Christmas Open House
Author: Doris Milliman
The weather and the spirit of the season helped to make the Open House at the Museum successful on December 9, 1984.
As guests walked up the steps they could see the beautifully draped greens on the front of the house. As they entered, they were greeted by some members of the Historical Society's Board; David Gauntlett, Don Racine, William Ealy, Mrs. George Patterson, Arthur Howard and Dr. William Edmunds.
The fragrance of evergreen permeated the air as guests viewed the garlands of greens interspersed with trumpets on the walnut stairway and over doorways. Everywhere one looked there was the beauty of the Christmas season.
Mr. & Mrs. Laverne Howard planned and carried out the decoration and had chosen Christmas hymns and carols as the theme. As guests walked through the rooms they noted signs made by Arthur Howard identifying each song. The parlor depicted “The Three Kings”, the White room “Silent Night”, with our beautiful picture of the Madonna and Child hanging above the mantel and in the dining room was “The Partridge in the Pear Tree” with a tree made of fresh pears in the center of the table, to mention just three rooms. Many poinsettias were found throughout the rooms and all mantels were decorated with greens, candles and figurine relating to each song. Mrs. Elnora Miller and Mr. Ron Miller had assisted the Howards in decorating the rooms. Many comment were heard regarding how artistically and beautifully the rooms were done.
The Christmas tree in the parlor was decorated in keeping with the style of the Victorian house, with the decorations being made from natural materials and bits of lace and ribbon. They were all well arranged on the tree by members of the former Garden Club. Mrs. Mildred Gilmore, Miss Frances Warren, Miss Doris Milliman, Mrs. Don Wardell and Miss Betty Tunnicliffe. The latter two were the designers and makers of the decorations along with Mrs. David Gauntlett. The Museum Directors, Mrs. William McCarthy had obtained the tree and had supervised the set-up. She was always available to help rearrange furniture and to find thumb tacks, tape, tools, etc.
In the White room where the new sales case is located, Mrs. Gauntlett was in charge of a lovely display of gifts that she had ordered for the season and which proved to be popular with the guests.
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Howard had decorated the windows with bits of green tied with red bows and had refurbished the solarium with poinsettias. Deci also made the large ball of greens and Art hung them on the south front porch.
As guests found their way to the Ypsilanti room they enjoyed a large variety of refreshments and punch. The sandwiches and cookies had been made by, or solicited from members, by Mrs. Bertha Speer. She was assisted in serving by Miss Tunnicli What would our holiday get together be without the colorful and sweet little candies that are made by Mrs. Ruth Reynolds and the little gingerbread men that are made by Mrs. Arthur Howard.
There was more upstairs for guests to see, the Children's room with our special doll collection was arranged around a decorated Christmas tree by Mrs. Gauntlett. Then the Library where a newly acquired gift of a Lionel electric train was running. It was engineered by Mr. Laverne Howard, Mr. Alan Stewart and Mr. David Gauntlett. and attracted a lot of attention
Mike Miller had arranged for recorded Christmas music to be heard throughout the house which all added to the very festive occasion.
The “Collector's” doll for which raffle tickets were sold was won by Mr. A.P. Marshall.
The members of the Administration Committee who planned this Open House thank all who contributed to the success of it.