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Christmas at the Black House
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“Twas the Night Before Christmas” was the theme during open house held during two weekends recently at the Black House at 301 West Main Street. Not a creature was stirring, but St. Nicholas was there. He was sitting in the dining room eating cookies and drinking milk.
Reba Reynolds volunteered to keep Santa company in the dining room. Reynolds is an avid doll collector and she supplied all the dolls used in displays throughout the house.
The historic Black House was decorated for the holiday season with the poem’s words in mind. Decorators used several dolls owned by Reynolds, lights and assorted Christmas decorations to immerse the house in the spirit of Christmas.
Admission to the open house was used for the upkeep of the historic structure. Steve Grayson who serves on the board at the Black House said, “We had a pretty good turnout last weekend. And, from how many have come through so far today, I believe this weekend will have a good turnout as well.”
The music room was decorated with carolers and colors of golds and blues while the museum room held an assortment of gingerbread houses.
The downstairs parlor held a beautiful manger scene that caught the attention of visitors.
Most children slept in the upstairs bedrooms while visions of sugarlpums danced in their heads. However, one little girl had snuck out to the landing at the top of the steps and was peeking out the window hoping for a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer.
Collin West, a Boy Scout with Troop 309 volunteered to make sure not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse in one of the upstairs bedrooms. West said he is required to perform six hours of community service in order to earn an advancement.
“I thought this was a good cause. The Black House is an important historical building in McMinnville,” said West.
The outdoor gazebo boasted a Christmas tree and both were decorated with Christmas lights which illuminated the night sky.
The rooms were beautifully decorated by Knot a Clue, Tiger Lily Florist, Rainbow Flowers and Gifts and Morrison Florist. Brenda Martin, Francis Nunley, Frances Hillis and the Eagle Fund Inc. board of directors also donated many hours to the event.
Black House director Jeanette Lowrey said the crowds were less than during open house in October when board members and volunteers staged a play titled “Murder at the Black House.”
“We did fairly well last Saturday and Sunday. It has been slower than the last open house but I’m so happy with the way it turned out,” said Lowrey. “So many people have worked hard on making it a success and it’s beautiful.”