Tour the Martin Mitchell Mansion this holiday season to see it beautifully decorated in the Edwardian style of the 1910s. Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the Mansion is Naper Settlement’s premier showcase that has been adorned in holiday splendor with help from the Naperville Garden Club and is open from Nov. 26 to Dec. 18 on Fridays and Saturdays from 3-7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m and Dec. 19 to Dec. 21 from 3-7:30 p.m. A guided tour will be given of the first story of this historic treasure for $5 per person.
“The Martin Mitchell Mansion Holiday Tours are the perfect opportunity to get a taste of what Naperville holidays were like in the early 20th century,” said Naper Settlement’s Director of Learning Experiences, Sheila Riley.
The Martin Mitchell Mansion, also known as Pinecraig, was built in 1883 by George Martin for his family and is one of the only two buildings original to Naper Settlement’s grounds. Visitors will see the interior of the mansion decorated as it might have been for Christmas in 1916, when the Martin Mitchell family resided there—Edward Mitchell, his wife Caroline Martin Mitchell and her sister Lizzie Martin.
Holiday decorations in the 1910s were simpler than the Victorian era, which had taken place from 1837 to 1901. Visitors will see that many Edwardian decorations were made from natural objects like evergreens, holly and mistletoe. Commercially-produced decorations started to become available and popular in 1915, and families either purchased their Christmas tree or cut one down from their property, like the Martin Mitchells would.
Visitors can expect a guided tour through each first floor room that includes the foyer, parlor, office, dining room and kitchen. Throughout the tour, visitors will learn how a family living in the Edwardian period would have decorated for the holidays, the activities the family would have done over the holiday season and even the meal they would have typically had on Christmas day.