Continuing a holiday tradition, the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County invites everyone to their annual Christmas open houses at Gov. John Wood’s mansion, at 425 South 12th Steet on Friday, Dec. 19th, Friday Dec. 26th, Sat. Dec. 27th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. each evening.  The mansion will be decorated for the season with traditional tree and mantle arrangements, and will be softly lighted for the occasion by candlelight.

For the first time is decades, the large Miller family dollhouse from the Historical Society collections will be on display in the Visitors Center.  With period furnishings and decorations, this three story Greek Revival mansion in miniature was built by hand nearly 150 years ago, by the fine craftsmen of the E. M. Miller Carriage Company of Quincy, for Laura Miller, the daughter of Emerson M. and Hannah Maria Wheat Miller.

Exhibited up close and at eye level, the detailed period furnishings and décor of the multiple rooms, all also handmade, offer a glimpse into the material lives of an eighteenth century American family, and echoes of childhoods past.

Music will once again be an integral part of the evenings, with performances and caroling by choral and instrumental groups from the Quincy area, including the Notre Dame Madrigal Singers, the 1st Baptist Church Choir, and Eric Steitz and Tony Bradford on hammered dulcimer, wooden flute and traditional instruments.

Historical Society board members, and re-enactors in period dress will act as hosts and hostesses in the mansion, welcoming all to Gov. Wood’s home, and answering questions about the Society, the Wood family, and life in Quincy during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Visitors will also be invited to a reception with punch and home made cookies at the Visitors Center, to further celebrate the season and visit with friends and neighbors.

These evening hours present a perfect opportunity for those who cannot visit the mansion during the day to see the mansion decked out for the season, and show this Quincy treasure off to visiting friends and relatives.

The theme of this years’ open house is “’Til the Boys Come Home, Christmas in Quincy, 1864.”  While hearts and minds were very much concentrated on the events happening on distant battlefields and in far away encampments, families at home still found time to celebrate the season, and this year the Mansion and Visitors Center will feature some of the favorite pastimes and pleasures of childhood in the 19th century.  On display will be a model train set up by the Quincy Society of Model Engineers.

For additional information, contact the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County at 217-222-1835.

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