Have you ever wished you could turn back time for even a moment?
Imagine the sights and sounds of Savannah two centuries ago: candlelit homes, horse drawn carriages and a flurry of festivities in anticipation of Christmas Day. You can now get a brief glimpse into early 19th century life in the Hostess Town inside one of its historic homes.
For a week, the Davenport House Museum will host evening candlelight tours, celebrating the arrival of the New Year as it would have been observed 200 years ago.
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The family-friendly event will feature costumed tour guides sharing stories from Savannah’s first holiday festivities. It’s a chance to experience a bygone era, Davenport House executives shared, an era that evokes simpler times without the modern stress of a busy life.
“Nightly candlelight tours give guests a glimpse of a distant time when the world was so different,” said Jamie Credle, director of the Davenport House Museum.
Guests will tour the lavishly restored rooms of the historic house, experience the house by candlelight, and learn how the family reportedly prepared for the New Year’s celebrations, which at the time was the most popular holiday of the season.
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It was not until the anonymous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was widely circulated in newspapers from 1823, that the magic of Christmas Eve began to take hold of the American imagination.
The beloved poem quickly elevated Christmas as a revered family celebration. Now popularly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, it has since been attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, a professor from New York.
During the Davenport Tour, the experience will include a short dramatic presentation on the discovery of Clement Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” a magical moment that visitors can experience by candlelight.
The Davenport House Museum has long placed a commitment to local history at the forefront of its mission. The museum offers a living example of Georgian life in the early 19th century, providing visitors with a living connection to the historic daily life of the city.
The mission of the Davenport House Museum is to preserve and interpret the American Federal-style house and the artifacts it contains, built by master builder Isaiah Davenport for his home, with an emphasis on the 1820s- 27.
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The museum also played a key role in igniting the historic preservation movement in the city when citizens gathered to spare the house’s demolition in 1955, and it became the first office of the Historic Savannah Foundation.
The new holiday candlelight tours are just one more way for the Davenport House Museum to transport visitors to bygone eras, putting both past and present in perspective. It’s an experience the staff say they’re delighted to share, with the added shine of the vacation mixed in for good measure.
“Our volunteers and staff look forward to sharing the home with visitors and locals at a fun and festive time of year,” added Credle. “It’s a delicious way to start ringing in the New Year!” “
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
WHAT: Evening candlelight tours
WHEN: Tours last 55 minutes and run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday, December 26 to Thursday, December 30. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
O: Davenport House Museum, 324 E. State St.
COT: $ 12 for adults in advance and $ 15 at the door. Children 6 to 17 pay $ 6 in advance and $ 8 at the door.
INFO: visit davenporthousemuseum.org or call 912-236-8097 or visit the Davenport House Museum Shop
Please note that the tour requires guests to be able to walk up and down stairs and maneuver in dimly lit rooms. Customers will be asked to respect the safety instructions in force during the visit and to plan to wear masks inside the building