Our Town: Celebrating Christmas in the Neighborhood


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"Our Town: Celebrating Christmas in the Neighborhood" is the historical interpretation of the McFaddin-Ward House Historic House Museum for Christmas 2012. The museum's curatorial staff work to select historical documentation and artifacts to portray what life was like for the McFaddins during the museum's era of interpretation--from the 1900s--1950. The Christmas exhibit will be on display through December 30, 2012.

The McFaddin-Ward House was built in 1905-1906. The Beaux-Arts Colonial style home and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family that lived in the house for seventy-five years.

For more information on the McFaddin-Ward House, follow the museum on Facebook or contact the museum at (409) 832-1906. Tours of the home are offered Tuesday through Friday and reservations are encouraged.

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Our Town: Celebrating Christmas in the Neighborhood

  1. 1. OUR TOWN: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD McFaddin-Ward HouseChristmas Interpretation 2012
  2. 2. OUR TOWN: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD “Homes, Churches, Hospitals, Jails All Celebrate Christmas” “Beaumont’s 57,000, joined by the intangible spirit which pervades Christmas, celebrated mutually Monday.” — Beaumont Journal, December 25, 1933 During the first half of the twentieth century, Beaumont was a busy community at Christmas. Even two world wars and a decade-long Depression could not dampen the town’s holiday spirit. Each holidayseason brought a variety of events and activities, from caroling around the city and holiday pageants to community Christmas trees and food drives that enabled the poor to enjoy the holiday. “Various groups of carolers will meet at the municipal Christmas tree at 7 o’clock Christmas Eve and join in singing several Christmas songs.” — Beaumont Enterprise, December 20, 1925 The McFaddins were active in their community, joining in the charita-ble spirit of the season as well as the fun. Ida and Mamie worked close- ly with their church and charitable organizations. Mamie personally bought and wrapped gifts for the young girls at the Beaumont Day Nursery. Both women also remembered their domestic employees, office personnel, and even sales people with gifts at Christmas.
  3. 3. The Front PorchThe porch was an ideal spot for entertaining. In 1911 Ida and W.P.H.gave a “porch dance” for Mamie, then 15, and her friend LeonoraNorvell.“The merry throng danced out the Christmas season and welcomedthe New Year.” — Beaumont Enterprise, January 1, 1912Beaumont homes and business were always decorated for the holi-days. By the 1930s, colored outdoor lights were available to furtherbrighten the local scene. Ida and Mamie made sure that their homewas lighted up each Christmas.“Glow of Soft-Colored Lights Illuminates Numerous Yards in CityAs Result of Contest” — Beaumont Enterprise, December 20, 1936“Tiny colored electric lights make your home a message of holidaygood wishes and cheer.” — Beaumont Journal, December 21, 1934
  4. 4. Entrance Hall “In a hay-filled truck loaned them by Carroll Ward the girls andboys [from the YMCA] rode down Calder Avenue caroling in front ofthe homes….Mrs. McFaddin and Mr. and Mrs. Carroll E. Ward invitedthe girls and boys in for fruit cake.” — Beaumont newspaper, Decem-ber, 1944.Collections: Sleigh bells (restored 2011) White fox fur on benchProps: Christmas postcards (copies from MWH archives) Mamie McFaddin Ward, ca. 1919
  5. 5. ParlorAt Christmas, the parlor needed only fresh flowers, such as roses andpoinsettias, to set off its ornate rose-and-gilt décor. The real roses setoff the handpainted roses on walls and ceiling.
  6. 6. Dining RoomMcFaddins and Wards often entertained friends during the holidays.“Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Ward will entertain a group at the W.P.H.McFaddin home, at which time Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Kinney of Cleve-land, Ohio, Miss Ruth Bassett of New Britain, Connecticut, Mr. andMrs. Douglas Monroe of Oklahoma City and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Lattawill be honored.”– Beaumont Journal, December 31, 1930Collections: Limoges (France) china Baltimore Rose flatware Stemware and salt and pepper shakers made of glass with gold oxide paint Silver and mother-of-pearl carving set Cutwork tablecloth and napkins
  7. 7. Butler ’s PantryWhen the McFaddins and Wards entertained, this room was one of thebusiest in the house. After Louis Lemon had prepared one of his deli-cious meals, food was transferred to serving dishes in the butler’s pan-try before being carried to the dining room by the butler or the maid.Collections: Blenko tumblers with swizzle sticks on silver Art Deco tray Art Glass Pitcher
  8. 8. Breakfast RoomThe breakfast room was an ideal space for Ida and Mamie to host smallluncheons during the holidays.Collections: Red Blenko plates and glasses Red etched fingerbowls (not Blenko) Mary Chilton flatware Cutwork tablecloth & napkins Ansonia “Gloria Swinger” clock works again! Portieres are up for first time in several years
  9. 9. LibraryDuring the holidays, the McFaddins enjoyed gathering in the library af-ter dinner or when friends came to visit.Collections: Demitasse set Electric candelabra Silver coffee service
  10. 10. Sun PorchEven in the winter, the sun porch was used, as it was a warm, sunny roomduring the morning hours, and the McFaddins fitted it with gas heat.
  11. 11. Music RoomThe music room would have been a favorite gathering place during theholidays, especially in the years before radio became available. Musicwas an important part of the McFaddins’ world; both Mamie Ward andher brother Caldwell McFaddin took piano lessons growing up, and IdaMcFaddin sang in her younger years.Props: ukulele, violin, music stand, sheet music
  12. 12. Master BedroomAmid the hustle and bustle of Christmas activities, Ida would have beenglad to relax in the peace and quiet of her bedroom and perhaps put onher warm silk kimono for a few minutes’ rest.Collections: quilt on day bed Kimono on chairProps: Postcards copied from MWH archives
  13. 13. Green BedroomThis room is set up for giftwrapping. Each Christmas, Mamiewrapped most of hers and her mother’s gifts to others. She evenbought and wrapped gifts for the young girls at the BeaumontChildren’s Home.Collections: quilt on rocker Scissors Tape dispenser Wrapping paper, tape, labels, boxesProp: magazine, gifts on floor
  14. 14. Blue BedroomThe blue bedroom was for guests. McFaddins always welcomed visitors,especially at Christmas. Sometimes they would come well before Christ-mas and stay into the New Year. Packing in the early 20th century in-volved many suitcases and even large trunks, which were often sent onahead by train.Collections: Oshkosh luggage set and all contents Mink stole, gloves, gold mesh purse Fondville Ambassador china, Blue Petal pattern Mary Chilton flatware
  15. 15. Pink BedroomEach year Mamie sent out Christmas cards to friends and family.She was an avid member of the Magnolia Garden Club, and some-times Carroll gave her an orchid for Christmas.Collections: Christmas cards copied from MWH archives Pen Stamp holder Fur cape, hat and gloves on bed Quilt on day bed Vase for orchid
  16. 16. KitchenEggnog was a McFaddin Christmas tradition, served on Christmasmorning.Collections: All kitchen equipment, liquor bottles Porcelain coffee percolator pot Fruit-of-the-Month Club boxProps: Maxwell House coffee can