Mansion hosting open houseThe Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site in Bismarck will soon be decorated for the holiday season. The site’s 15th annual holiday open house is scheduled for two Sundays. The dates are Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, both days from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site in Bismarck will soon be decorated for the holiday season. The site’s 15th annual holiday open house is scheduled for two Sundays. The dates are Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, both days from 1 to 5 p.m.
The open houses both Sundays are free and open to the public. Providing musical entertainment both Sundays will be Bismarck pianist Albert Lansberger, who will play the Steinway throughout the afternoon. Visitors both days are encouraged to sing along with Landsberger as he plays the piano.
Coffee, tea and cookies will be available for visitors to enjoy as they tour the mansion.
Visitors to the open houses are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items and/or toys. All items donated will be distributed to low-income families and individuals in the area.
The open houses are sponsored by the Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors’ Mansion and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Located at the corner of Fourth Street and Avenue B, the site is one of 55 state historic sites managed by the state’s history agency.
Also open both Sundays will be the mansion’s recently restored carriage house. Restoration of the exterior of the carriage house building recreates its appearance in 1903, when it was built. The interior of the building was rehabilitated to create an exhibit area and an ADA-accessible restroom. The featured exhibit, “From Buckets of Oats to Quarts of Oil,” represents a time of transition from the age of the horse and buggy to the era of the automobile.
The Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors’ Mansion is a volunteer board of concerned citizens who raise funds to help the SHSND restore the mansion, carriage house, and grounds. They will host the holiday open houses and serve hot apple cider. Heritage Volunteer mansion hosts will also be on hand to assist visitors. Heritage Volunteers are dedicated to assisting the SHSND in identifying, preserving and interpreting the heritage of North Dakota and its people.
Victorian-style homes were decorated for the holiday season as simply or as elaborately as the owner wished. Evergreens, holly, pressed ferns, dried leaves, straw flowers, grains and grasses were among the items used for decorating. Berries added color and interest. A wide variety of designs were created from these materials, such as mottoes, letters, greetings, wreaths and garlands. Along with candles, the holiday tree was decorated in homemade ornaments, including cornucopias, paper flowers, popcorn and cranberry garlands, paper chains, paper links and pine cones.