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Party Like It’s 1869!…Historic Holiday Hooplas

Over the holidays, there are homes all across Indiana where you can step across the threshold and find yourself in the nineteenth century.

Morris Butler House, interior

Photo: archive photo

Crimson walls and crystal chandeliers set off a candle-lit tree in the Victorian mansion, where guests at Saturday afternoon teas discover the origins of contemporary Christmas traditions.

Over the holidays, there are homes all across Indiana where you can step across the threshold and find yourself in the nineteenth century.

The non-profit preservation group Indiana Landmarks hosts a number of seasonal open houses at the properties it has helped to restore.

Just like road-weary travelers in the early 1800s, guests are welcomed at the Huddleston House in Cambridge City for a December evening of refreshments and conviviality.

The 1841 farmhouse was a landmark on the National Road, the country’s first major thoroughfare from the Eastern seaboard to the interior. The Huddlestons and their 11 children ran their house as an inn for the pioneers traveling along the Old Pike in Conestoga wagons.

The Huddleston Farmhouse museum has recently expanded to become a National Road Interpretive Center.

Farther west along the old National Road–known today as Highway 40–the Morris-Butler House offers visitors a chance to see how upper-middle-class residents of Indianapolis lived in the 1860s.

Crimson walls and crystal chandeliers set off a candle-lit tree in the Victorian mansion, where guests at Saturday afternoon teas discover the origins of contemporary Christmas traditions while sampling treats made according to 19th-century recipes.

The Old Northside landmark is home to the Hoosier Chapter of the Victorian Society of America.

Find out more about this year’s holiday open houses at historiclandmarks-dot-org.

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