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Pioneer Times Christmas


A Victorian Christmas at

White Hall

December 2012

Photos by Jim and Kathy Cummings

Each year the decorations at White Hall State Historic Site awe the visitor and bring additional life to the stately mansion. It’s a pleasure to visit White Hall anytime but Christmas is a special treat. It was the Victorian Era that really brought Christmas decorating to the forefront in this country. It was Queen Victoria herself that brought popularity to Christmas trees and Christmas cards.

Decorating the House
The staff at White Hall takes particular care in decorating for Christmas. Although they use lavish displays that would have befitted the Clay family that built and lived in the house they are careful to also use pieces that would have been appropriate to the time period. From the beautiful front drawing room to the upper stairs bedrooms the decorations are woven both into the spirit of the house and the existing antiques and furnishings.

We found the 2012 decorations exceptional especially the massive tree done all on red and gold and the figurines of the Three Wiseman. Enjoy our look and Christmas at White Hall State Historic Shrine. It is also interesting to note that in the mid 19th century in the days of glory for this mansion scores of servants would have seen to the cleaning, cooking and decorating under the guidance of the Clay family. Today a handful of staff and volunteers bring this elegant building to it’s Christmas glory!

Visitors arrived early at the two weekends of Christmas Open House at White Hall State Historic Site. In addition to the decorations information was provided to visitors on placards throughout the house explaining many aspects of our Christmas traditions, including the interpretation of the slave quarters now housed in the basement of the house.

After the self guided tour, visitors could enjoy refreshments in the ‘warming kitchen’. 


Other Links to White Hall on this site

Link to White Hall Foundation’s Website at at

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