A Historic McFarland Christmas

December 7, 2017

Rebecca Pascoe

The festive season has arrived at McFarland House! Experience authentic Victorian style holiday traditions this weekend with a variety of demonstrations, workshops, historic caroling, and craft stations!

Intricate handmade holiday décor featuring natural materials will adorn the stunningly restored home, while Niagara Parks’ heritage staff offer beverages including cider and homemade hot chocolate, as well as homemade Christmas cookies for all to enjoy. This year the decor which has been painstakingly put together by the Garden Club of Niagara, was researched to reflect Canada’s 150th birthday and the Confederation period circa 1867. Many of the decorations carry the theme of ladies’ paper crafts throughout the entire property, and visitors have the chance to see authentic Victorian style paper chains, paper flower crafts, and dried flowers in all of the various spaces of the house.

Although paper, as a consumer commodity, was becoming much more readily available for people of all socioeconomic classes throughout the 19th century, coloured and patterned crafting papers as we have used at McFarland House this year were more of a high cost, higher status item, as was even having the leisure time to carry out activities like making paper crafts in the first place. Being a wealthier, upper middle class family that owned a large amount of land and an impressively large home for the time, the ladies of McFarland House would likely have engaged in such pursuits themselves.

Production of this year’s decorations involved over 100 volunteers dedicating countless hours every aspect of decorating McFarland House. The process began in the summer with volunteers gathering various garden materials in order to dry and preserve them followed by carrying out workshops to create the handmade materials over the summer and fall seasons, and finally coming to the site for the installation of all the decor itself.

We are excited to welcome visitors this wekend to step back in time and take in the sights, smells and tastes of a Historic McFarland Christmas!

Further event details here.

Rebecca Pascoe

Rebecca Pascoe

Rebecca has been studying the exciting, ever evolving field of history for over 20 years and has worked at a variety of historic sites with Niagara Parks, Parks Canada, and the City of Niagara Falls. She holds a BA in history from the University of Guelph and her Master's in history from the University of Waterloo. If you can't find her at McFarland House you may likely run into her while she is out on one of her jaunts to antique shops far and wide, eager to find new treasures and share their stories with our visitors.

Niagara Parks is committed to protecting the health and safety of all guests and staff. Face coverings are required at all indoor spaces and attractions within Niagara Parks, and proof of vaccination is required at some locations.