Did you guess the holiday home that we visited earlier this week? Exactly one month after I wrote my second Nebraska Travel Bucket List, I made it to my first location. For several years, I had been wanting to visit the Bess Streeter Aldrich House. My daughter and I finally made that happen. Seeing the Bess Streeter Aldrich House Christmas edition was truly a treat. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the two of house there. But my daughter did help me with editing the pictures for this post. She did all of the editing on the dove picture to the right and helped me with formatting several of the others. I love getting to do this with her!
In case you are unfamiliar with Bess Streeter Aldrich, she is prolific Nebraska author. Tomorrow I will be telling you more about her books. But for today, I am featuring her home. At some point, I would love to give you a mini online tour of the Bess Streeter Aldrich House. Christmas brings out the best in the house as area volunteers decorate each room to reflect the time period and the themes of her books. Although the home does contain some of the furniture and furnishings of the Aldrich family, parts are reproductions. Plus the home has now been decorated to highlight her book titles. The Christmas tree to the right can be found in the Spring Came on Forever bedroom.
I think we both enjoyed the decorations found in the A Lantern in Her Hand room. Area school children provided the decorations that are quite whimsical. From yesterday’s post, you can see the handmade ornaments found on the Christmas tree near the organ.Gifts were also constructed that represent gifts included in the prairie Christmas mentioned in the book. The log rocking horse is definitely memorable.
The miniature table and tree found in one of yesterday’s pictures is from another upstairs bedroom that features children’s toys. The fourth bedroom has the rose wallpaper and reflects the style that Mrs. Aldrich would have appreciated. Even the bathroom is decked out for Christmas.
The main floor features even more Christmas. Although the piano was not owned by the Aldriches, this magnificent piece was owned by an area resident who was friend with the Aldriches. Evidently this piano was dismantled and traveled west via covered wagon. Quite the impressive history.
Only one other family has lived in this home. The Clements family continued to use the Aldrich dining table. Although one piece of their china survived (still on display at the Bess Streeter Aldrich Museum), this pattern is still similar. I love the handmade gingerbread crafts that are seen on the table.
The tree in this dining room features similar decorations. In yesterday’s “Wordless Wednesday” post, the toys at the base of this tree are seen in the picture. I am not sure if the volunteer had the tea cup ornaments specially made, but I do think that they are simply lovely. I really like the built in china cupboards. One side features period china, but the glass case on this side does display Aldrich family items. The fact that they still have so many family momentos does add meaning to the Museum.
The only room not restored to the original 1920’s is the kitchen. At some point, this room did undergo a remodel. But since the kitchen is still vintage, they decided to leave the style. I am not sure that I could have a Christmas tree in my kitchen, but I guess when you are no longer actually using the appliances it works. The oven made me smile as it is the type of oven that my Grandma had. When my grandparents moved out of their home, the oven made its way to our Hickman home. My Grandma’s oven was not the double kind, but her version still had the slide out stovetop.
What is fun about seeing the Bess Aldrich House Christmas version is the fact that little decorative touches can be seen throughout the house. Even the kitchen tins show a decorative flair. To keep the kids engaged, they have a scavenger hunt throughout the house. This Christmas, certain angels are the featured items. If the kids can find all of the angels, their name will be entered into a prize drawing. My daughter really enjoyed that part of the tour! The fact that all of the decorations were organized by volunteers adds even more joy to the tour experience.
To the see the Bess Aldrich House Christmas Edition …
The home is open for tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00. Here are the admission prices and details.
We are happy to schedule group tours if you have a group of 5 or more people and cannot come during regular hours, or if you plan to come during regular hours but have a large group (10+ people). We welcome school trips, church groups, bus tours, senior groups–anyone who wants to learn more about Bess Streeter Aldrich!
Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6, teachers with school groups, and bus drivers are admitted free.
Plan to spend around 45 minutes at the Aldrich House (204 East F Street). Several blocks away, you can also tour the Bess Streeter Aldrich Museum (124 West D St). Allow another 45 minutes if your group chooses to tour the museum too (includes travel time between sites.) Both the house and the nearby museum are in Elmwood. The museum is only open by appointment.