Monday, December 8, 2014


Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion

Recently the local Preservation Society held its annual Christmas open house. Several historic houses throughout downtown opened their doors for an old-fashioned Christmas. The homes were decorated in victorian and period-style decorations. Music, choirs, Victorian carolers and a barber shop quartet provided entertainment. Father Christmas also planned an appearance.  Lovely belles greeted guests as they arrived. Beautiful silver trays throughout the house served treats and punch was also served. This was certainly a walk back in time!  

Five houses were on the tour. Today I will take you through the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion. This stunning, Italianate style house was built in 1859-1862 by Senator Robert Jemison Jr. The house remained a private residence until 1955. It served many years as a library, then offices to a publishing house. After many years of renovations the structure was restored as near as possible to its original form.

I hope you enjoyed touring this lovely historic home. The music and decorations certainly made for a festive seasonal tour. I finally did run into Father Christmas at one of the other houses. He was jolly and dressed in a beautiful coat. I’ll share that photo in another post!
Please leave a comment, it’s the only way I will know you stopped by.


  1. What a lovely tour, Emily! One of Shanley Belle's sorority sisters gives tours at one of the homes. :)

  2. I really enjoyed that tour and I marvelled at the Belles' dresses!

  3. Senator Jemison didn't think he needed a big house at all, did he? ;-) Gosh, that thing is HUGE!!! I wouldn't mind living there at all...except for if I had to be the one to clean it!

    I can't even begin to name my favorite part of the house itself or the Christmas decor, but I guess gun-to-head I'd have to say the built-in china hutch, the freestanding bookcase, and the stairwell for the house and the way the gorgeous mirror over the fireplace looks for the decor. Beautiful epergne with the sugared fruit and samovar, too! So many pretty things to look at!!! I've never been in a home like this for a Christmas tour. I think I need to find one to visit!

    Looking forward to seeing Father Christmas in his seasonal finery!

  4. I absolutely love the greenery in the parlor. Gives me some ideas for next year!

  5. What a wonderful tour, Emily! I loved the piano and the sitting/living room with the Boston ferns. We had a party here tonight and had a great time. I wish you and your family a warm and wonderful Christmas this year!




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