2012 Victorian Christmas Tour
Come and experience Williamsport’s rich cultural and architectural heritage in the heart of the Millionaire’s Row Historic District!
Join us as we celebrate the annual Victorian Christmas, “It Starts with a Story” this year, slated for November 16, 17 and 18, 2012.
Tours are planned of Victorian and Historic Mansions and Churches along West Fourth Street, in Downtown, and in the Vallamont and Greater Williamsport Area.
The Thomas Taber Museum, the “Toy Train Expo” at Park Place, the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum, and The James V. Brown Library will be included in our trolley stops and open for your enjoyment.
Read more here: http://victorianchristmaspa.wordpress.com
The Lycoming Co Tourist Promotion Agency will sell tickets. 1-800-358-9900 and 570-327-7700. Tickets also will be available at The Transportation Museum on Park Place the day if tour and at all homes on the Tour.
The mansions will feature area florists or displays and will be hosted by guides in period dress. Musical entertainment is provided throughout the afternoon at tour sites courtesy of a Pennsylvania Partners on the Arts grant.
Tours of Museums, Homes and Churches, Only 10 a.m. 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Thomas Taber Museum, Millionaire’s Row, Vallamont & Williamsport Area. These homes have great architectural interest and detail, some with modern adaptations, some with historical significance and some with legendary interest.
Victorian Christmas (and the renaissance of Williamsport’s fabled Millionaire’s Row) all began, appropriately enough, in the historic bar of the Peter Herdic House Restaurant, 407 West Fourth Street, in March 1999.
Nan Young, one of the founders of Victorian Christmas, remembers it well.
“Gloria, Ted and I were so active in trying to achieve restoration in the Historic District. One day, over a glass of wine at the bar, we decided to have a little candlelight tour. We did it all ourselves and had a few houses, dragging our friends in to guide. Then we added a luncheon at Park Place. Oh, the first year we had a carol sing in the lawn of Park Place and lit a tree on Friday evening. It was grand.”
Sisters Gloria and Marcia Miele, owners of the Peter Herdic House Restaurant and other West Fourth Street mansions, and Edward (Ted) Lyon, Jr., also a Historic District property owner, share Young’s passion for historic preservation.
Energy and enthusiasm spread, as the small group of determined mansion rescuers grew. They added new events to the tours to maintain public intrigue, such as a crafts fair in the gothic gym at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Soon, they were joined by Fran Visco, her sisters and mother, who organized a bridal gown fashion show at Park Place. Gown models portrayed well-known Williamsport personalities. Some of the gowns were very old and made of gorgeous silk and satin, recalls Young. Capitalizing on the success of this show, the group organized more, featuring lovely authentic Victorian clothing and hats and emceed by the mayor and other city dignitaries. As an added attraction, Visco’s family decorated the prettiest tree at Park Place.
Proceeds from Victorian Christmas are used to preserve and beautify Historic Williamsport and Millionaires Row. The organization is able to buy, hang and water these flower baskets, hung by Diane Zeidler.
In the second year of mansion tours, the group put their profits into enlisting local florist Diane Zeidler to produce and maintain the lovely hanging baskets that now grace the period light posts during summer months. The results were, in Young’s words, changes in the district.”
Fire-burned buildings were bought by preservationists. Single families, such as Carlos and Melinda Saldivia, Tim Levan, and Hank and Mary Collings moved to the heart of Millionaire’s Row.
Victorian Christmas committee members joined on, adding music, decorations, teas, luncheons, carriage rides, and appearances by Father Christmas in his elegant hand-crafted robes.
They received grants from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, Lycoming County Visitors’ Bureau, and the Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation to continue and enhance the festivities, which had become a much-anticipated annual event. According to Young, “the best celebration of all” occurred when Victorian Magazine featured five of Williamsport’s historic houses in several of its issues. Everyone’s hard work had put Victorian Christmas and Williamsport on the map as a serious Victorian destination.
The first year we gathered our money from the tickets in our muffs and went to the Herdic House to rejoice. We put the money out to count and toasted each other, we were so pleased,” recounts Young.
Although new faces and enthusiasm keep events fresh, the Mieles, Lyon, and Young are to be applauded for continuing to carefully tend the bright flame of preservation that has its roots in Victorian Christmas.
Schedule of Events
The Victorian Christmas Event Schedule includes:
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012
For tickets to the following three days of events, please see Tickets & Tour Information. Children under 18 years with adults, and college students with I.D. admitted free to Victorian Christmas Homes Tour.
*10 a.m. to 8 p.m. DuBoistown Garden Club’s 49th Annual Holiday House, A Peak Into Wardrobes Past, Pennington Lounge, Lycoming College, Mulberry Street, Williamsport. Admission: $5 donation.
*6 p.m. Holiday Parade in downtown Williamsport
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Victorian Christmas Church & House Tours ~ Homes Decorated for the Holiday with Entertainment at Most Sites Tickets are $15 per person, cash or check. *For credit cards, call the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau at(800) 358-9900. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: The Community Arts Center, 220 West Fourth Street or The Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, 210 William Street.
*10 a.m. to 8 p.m. DuBoistown Garden Club’s 48th Annual Holiday House, A Peak Into Wardrobes Past, Pennington Lounge, Lycoming College, Mulberry Street, Williamsport. Admission: $5 donation.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 21st annual Eric and William Huffman Toy Train Expo, Park Place, 800 West Fourth Street. Adults $2. Children free.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thomas T. Taber Museum Open. 858 West Fourth Street. Special Victorian Christmas Admission $2 adults, children free.
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Farmers Market
8a.m.-10a.m. breakfast and tour of historic building, the Ross Club (will building be on tour all day or only 8-10? Do we have a price ?)
(time?) Continental Breakfast/Lunch, First Baptist Church (price?)
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Soup & Sandwich Luncheon, Trinity Church, $8.50
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Short Bread & Hot Mulled Cider ?, the Historic Genetti Hotel, Complimentary
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Victorian Tea, Peter Herdic House, $14 (reservations required)
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. DuBoistown Garden Club’s 48th Annual Holiday House, A Peak Into Wardrobes Past, Pennington Lounge, Lycoming College, Mulberry Street, Williamsport. Admission: $5 donation.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 22nd Annual Toy Train Expo. Park Place, 800 West Fourth Street. Adults $2. Children free.
Advance Tickets: $15 per person. Cash or Check (Payable to Victorian Christmas) or for Credit Cards call Lycoming County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-358-9900 *Suggested Starting Point: The Gazebo at Park Place 800 West Fourth St.
Tickets can be purchased at the following locations:
• Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, 210 William Street
Day of Tour Tickets can be purchased at:
• Mansions • Lycoming County Visitors Bureau • the Historic Genetti Hotel
For More Info, Contact:
Yvonne Roskowski 570.772.5671
Nan Young 570.419.4915
Our ticket Chairs need added
The trolley will be available from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
See the map for trolley stops (TS).
Available all day, (weather permitting).
Cost: $10/Adult, $5/Child
See the map for carriage rides (CR).
• Park Place and Trinity Episcopal Church
• Lot, corner of Walnut and West Edwin Street
• Penn College lot corner of Vine Ave, Susquehanna and West Third Street. (north side, unnumbered spaces only)
• First Baptist Church
• Annunciation Church Parish Building
• Trinity Episcopal Church
• Peter Herdic Transportation Museum
This event supported in part by grants from the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau.