Monday, December 22, 2008

A Victorian Christmas at Glendale's Doctors House

With Christmas fast approaching, I'm still having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit. But the holiday food is helping -- thank you, Trader Joe's -- and our Saturday night visit to Glendale's Doctors House also helped instill some seasonal cheer.

It's a Glendale tradition: The Glendale Historical Society opens up the Doctors House next to the Brand Library for a holiday-themed candlelight tour. The restored Queen Anne-Eastlake style home is decorated the way its inhabitants might have celebrated Christmas a century ago, and docents -- dressed in Victorian holiday garb -- narrate.

It was perhaps the best holiday bargain: Just $1 per person. The entry also included refreshments (hot chocolate and coffee) and a cookie.

A few pics of the Doctors House, as we toured on Saturday night:

Above, the glass pickle ornament -- "considered one of the most special tree decorations by many families in Germany. For good luck, it was always the last ornament to be hung on the Christmas tree (and symbolized fertility). (Children) knew that whoever found the special ornament first would receve an extra little gift left by St. Nicholas..."

A bit of history about the house:
The Doctors House, an authentically restored Queen Anne-Eastlake style home built about 1888, is the result of a community-wide endeavor to preserve a reminder of Glendale's earliest days.

The two story house originally stood at 921 East Wilson Avenue. It became known as The Doctors House because it was residence and office space for three prominent early Glendale physicians.

When it was threatened with demolition in 1979, citizens, including the newly reconstituted Glendale Historical Society, banded together to relocate it to Brand Park. They then restored the house to its late 19th century appearance, and furnished and decorated it in the style of the period.

The Doctors office contains numerous medical implements and supplies of the era. The living rooms recreate the pleasant domesticity of late Victorian times.

One room is set aside for the sale of books and materials pertaining to local area history. The house and grounds are frequently the scene of special events and exhibits A garden and gazebo provide a delightful period setting for the house.

The Doctors House has finished its holiday run... but if you're interested in checking out the home, it's open on Sunday afternoons throughout the year, for -- once again -- just $1 per person.

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