Historic Holiday House Tour returns, will benefit July 4th festivities
This is a whole new twist on Christmas in July. How does July 4th at Christmas time strike you?
The Historic Holiday House Tour will return to Pottstown Sunday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. but in addition to offering a delightful look at the interior of 21 of the borough’s landmark historic buildings, proceeds from the tour will also help to fund fireworks and other GoFourth festivities on July 4th.
As in previous years, the tour will coincide with Pottsgrove Manor’s annual Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelight event, that will feature a candlelight tour of the mansion as costumed interpreters portray its colonial residents as they celebrate Twelfth Night.
A trolley, sponsored by VIST Bank and Pottstown Area Rapid Transit, will shuttle tour goers between the ancestral home of Pottstown founder John Potts, to other stunning architectural treasures such as the The Elks Club on High Street, The Hill School’s Victorian-style Class of 1960 Alumni House at 715 E. High St., the Memorial Room of the John P. Ryan Library and the Romanesque-Gothic style Alumni Chapel and numerous homes showcasing lovingly preserved architecture ranging from Federal to Revival to Queen Ann Victorian styles.
Visitors can take the trolley shuttle, walk or drive. Trolley service to Pottsgrove Manor ends at 4:15 p.m.
Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 the day of the tour.
They can be purchased at www.PottstownGoFourth.com/holidayhousetour; Monday through Sunday and the day of the event at Studio 36, 105 E. High St., Pottstown; or Monday through Friday at Carter’s Locksmith, 127 N. Hanover St.
Tickets that are purchased online should be picked up the day of the event at Studio 36; please bring a proof of purchase.
Tour maps will be provided the day of the tours in exchange for purchased tickets at the following times and locations only: Noon – 4 p.m. at Studio 36, 105 E. High St.; 1-3 p.m. at The Elks Club, 61 E. High St.; or 3-5 p.m. at St. Aloysius Church’s Gathering Center at Hanover and Beech streets.
This year’s tour includes the Doe Club Tea, from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Elks Club, 61 E. High St., which features beautiful stained glass and woodwork, and a cookies
and punch social from 3 to 5 p.m. at Saint Aloysius Church, 223 Beech Street.
In addition, Edgewood Historic Cemetery, 106 Edgewood St. (along High between Edgewood and Keim streets), which recently benefitted from a community clean-up endeavor, will decorate its iron fence with fresh greens and wreaths and line the paths with luminaries. The spruced-up cemetery office building will be a stop for hot chocolate, and expect some carolers to provide holiday music during your stop.
Other stops include several other historic churches; the Potts Cemetery at 226230 Chestnut St.
Please note that tours of Hill’s chapel will end at 4:30 p.m., when a short organ recital will be performed, followed by the 5 p.m. “Lessons and Carols” service presented by Hill and Pottstown community vocalists and readers.
The public is cordially invited to the organ prelude and service but the participating choirs and clergy ask that guests come and stay for the service, rather than entering and/or leaving during this event.
As the last trolley ride from The Hill School Campus will leave at 5:15, friends who wish to attend the service are encouraged to drive and park at the Center For The Arts, 760 Beech St.; a Hill Security driver will shuttle guests to and from the Chapel and the two other Hill sites.
At Pottsgrove Manor, visitors can enjoy seasonal favorites such as the tantalizing desserts that are a staple of Twelfth Night; celebrate with the household servants and uncover the traditions of Boxing Day.
Or you can test your wit and memory in the parlor with games of the 18th century and find out if you can sing along with the historic music. Greet the family upstairs and learn how they dressed and prepared for the party. Laugh along with the household staff at their festivities in the Servant Work Room and converse with those who are still working late into the evening hours.
Historic dishes will be made in the colonial reproduction kitchen by the expert hearth cooks. Everyone can taste history with wassail and historic hot chocolate samples along with colonial cookies at the end of the tour. Kids of all ages are invited to take a piece of the holiday spirit home with a make-and-take craft.
The Museum Shop will also be open, stocked with true bayberry candles, kid’s toys, books for all ages, and more to bring some 18th century style to your holiday shopping
This true communitywide event is a great way to showcase the Borough, raise funds for next July’s GoFourth! festivities.
The lobby area of the Elks Home on High Street will again be decorated for the holidays and one of the stops on Pottstown’s Historic Holiday House tour Dec. 9.
Historical cook Deborah Peterson helped prepare Colonial feasts at previous “Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelight” tours.
The trappings of a Colonial-era English Christmas, complete with historic interpreters, are part of the Dec. 9 tour at Pottsgrove Manor.
The Pottstown Trolley, shown here leaving The Elks Club during previous year’s tours, will shuttle visitors among 21 locations during this year’s Historic Holiday House Tour Dec. 9.