Park-McCullough House to host 'An Old-Fashioned Christmas'

First holiday season event in 10 years

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NORTH BENNINGTON — For the first time in 10 years, a historic mansion-museum in town will be opening its doors to the public this holiday season.

The Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, also known as the Park-McCullough House, is hosting "An Old-Fashioned Christmas" on Saturday. It features a tree lighting, an appearance by Santa and tractor rides within the property.

In a nod to its roots, the 155-year-old former family residence has been decked out in Victorian-era Christmas decoration. Saturday's event — presented in partnership with the John G. McCullough Library — will also include a session on handcrafting Victorian ornaments.

The mansion hasn't hosted a public Christmas event in years because of the cost of heating the place. But its new executive director decided to hold one again this season after realizing that older community members were as nostalgic as he was for that holiday experience.

"Christmastime at Park-McCullough has made a lasting impression on so many others," said Executive Director Chris Oldham, 39, a native of North Bennington.

"I remember walking into the house for the very first time around the holidays nearly 30 years ago. I was mesmerized by the house itself but also all of the Christmas decor hung throughout. It inspired me to imagine what Christmas must have been like in those days." Oldham said. He had been in fourth grade at that time.

Oldham now wants a new generation to experience Christmas at the house.

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The mansion, which was a residence to the Park-McCullough family from 1865 to 1965, has been described as a "time capsule." It is filled with tens of thousands of items belonging to its former residents, including artwork, furniture, clothing, toys and books. It is now managed by the Park-McCullough House Association, a nonprofit group.

To get the house ready for Saturday, some nine volunteers spent about three days decorating it.

If you go...

What: An Old-Fashioned Christmas

When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 2-6 p.m.

Where: Park-McCullough House, 1 Park St., North Bennington

For more information, call (802) 442-5441 or visit parkmccullough.org.

Contact Tiffany Tan at ttan@benningtonbanner.com, @tiffgtan on Twitter or 802-447-7567 ext. 122.


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