The Star-Herald

Historical Society expands Victorian Christmas celebration to second week-end

PRESQUE ISLE, MainePresque Isle Historical Society’s Victorian Christmas has been expanded to include a second week-end this year.  Victorian Christmas at the Estey began in December of 2017 with the 1875 Vera Estey House Museum being “magically” transformed into a Victorian Christmas showcase.  Each room in the small, two-story Victorian era house is adorned with hand-made Victorian era inspired decorations and live florals including a beautiful evergreen gown. There are costumed “interpreters” in each room performing various tasks from the period. In addition, visitors can sample wassail, a hot apple cider punch, while listening to live music being played on Vera’s 1908 piano and children of all ages can participate in a scavenger hunt based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  (The Victorian Era is considered to be 1837 – 1901, the years during which Queen Victorian reigned in Great Britain.)

Kim Smith, Board member and event creator, said, “When Presque Isle Historical Society first offered its Victorian Christmas at the Estey event, there were four goals in mind: to hold a winter event, to get more people to visit the 1875 Vera Estey House Museum, to create a new local Christmas tradition, and to expand to a second week-end in the future.  Every year, we create new exhibits and decorations. Unlike our regular tours of the house, these are self-guided and showcase Victorian Christmas and the skills of refined women from that era rather than on the Estey family story. This year, the event has even been written up in AAA’s New England Journey and Downeast magazines. We feel like the event is finally ‘on the map’.”

Victorian Christmas at the Estey will be held on Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the door with on-street parking (or around the corner in the public lot across from City Hall). The 1875 Vera Estey House Museum is located at 16 Third Street in Presque Isle.

This year, a second event has been added on Saturday, December 8. This new event will be held at the Aroostook Centre Mall at 1:00 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for this event at the mall office.  Victorian Christmas at the Mall will include a brief presentation on which traditions from that era we still observe today including artifacts for viewing, a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” with a tasting of Sugar Plums, a singing of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with a tasting of Figgie Pudding, and ends with a “Make and Keep” Victorian Christmas ornament session.  

Smith added, “The Aroostook Centre Mall has graciously partnered with the Society this year.  There are several historical exhibits throughout the mall such as our 1900 limousine carriage, 1917 Model T, 1929 Fire Engine and more.  As an all-volunteer organization, partnerships are so important as are these fundraising events, which in addition to helping us fulfill our mission also provide the funds needed to continue to offer our quality, family-oriented programs.”

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