Bartlett House prepares for the return of the holiday season | New

OLEAN – A resumption of holiday events and regular hours is on the table at the Fannie E. Bartlett House and the Olean Point Museum.

Gail Feuchter, home decor and events coordinator, said the city-owned facility is gearing up for its fall and vacation events after a COVID-19-related slate wipe in 2020.

The pandemic canceled seven events in the summer of 2020. Feuchter mourns the loss of the year – the city’s 30th anniversary taking the title of historic structure. The only formal celebration came when a historic marker was unveiled in October in the Queen Anne-style home with little fanfare.

“From March to the end of the year, we were pretty much shut down,” she said, noting that seven events scheduled that summer were bluntly dismissed.

Thankfully, this summer’s pandemic lull has allowed the house to host its Pie fundraiser on the porch at a StrOlean event, host a lawn sale, and even bring back its annual Psychic Fair. Bus tours are also resuming, with a tour of around 40 people coming from Aurora town this week and a tour coming in the future from North Tonawanda.

Other events are being planned.

“We have a quilts and dolls show in the works,” she said, noting the hope of bringing back the popular antiques valuation event held in 2019. A fair for body and wellness. the spirit is being prepared for January.

But even before the leaves on the trees in the front start to change, thoughts turn to the holiday season, its decorations and its events.

“October is when we start decorating for Christmas,” she said, but don’t blame “Christmas creep” – “It takes that long. We will have at least 30 trees to decorate.”

After a COVID-related hiatus, the Victorian Christmas party will return on November 26 to coincide with the Santa Lane Parade. A signing session, “Memories of Christmas,” by Sherri Bass, will also take place. Feuchter said she used the Bartlett House as the inspiration for the illustrations in the book.

On December 4th, Day with Santa Claus will also be back.

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“We did it in 2019, and it was a good time,” she said, adding that with Santa Claus, she hopes to land backing vocals from Olean High School for fun.

Events approaching normal – masks are only required for unvaccinated people under city policy for its structures – Feuchter hopes old friends and new ones will stop by for events or during the hours normal.

“We love to have visitors,” she said. “We need to preserve our history and talk to the people about the Bartlett. They were a big part of our community.

Donations of antiques or documents related to Olean are always accepted.

“It’s good to receive donations – people feel good knowing that they have been preserved and can be appreciated after being in the family for years. “

There is one donation that has been sorely lacking, Feuchter said.

“I’m still on a mission to find a photo of Fannie Bartlett – there is no photo of her,” Feuchter said, adding that she had been to area libraries and historical societies to try. to find a photo of the namesake of the house.

The most direct connection to Bartlett in the household, Feuchter said, is literally her name.

“All I have is her framed signature,” Feuchter said, noting that the signature came from one of the founding documents of the Olean Public Library – which was one of many local groups she helped train, with the Olean Chapter of the American Red Cross. .

The Queen Anne-style house was originally built in 1881 by George Foreman and purchased in 1891 by Frank and Fannie Bartlett for $ 15,000, or nearly half a million dollars in today’s money. The house has nine bedrooms decorated in turn-of-the-century Victorian style and seven fireplaces, each of a different design and composition. The house is part of the Oak Hill Park Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The town acquired title in 1990. In 1998, the conversion of the old shed into a museum of ‘Olean Point has been completed.

The house is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as for rental for special events. For more information, call 372-5642.

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