DEC2015 - page 2

After two successful yearsofhost-
ing Candlelight Tours at Halloween,
the Historical Society offered tours
onDecember 5 and 6with a Christ-
mas theme.Tourswere scheduledat
4and7eachday.TheHistorical So-
ciety would like to thank everyone
who attended. Youwere agreat au-
dience and youhelped to raiseover
$500! But evenmore,wewould like
to thank the folks who volunteered
topresent aglimpse intoourpast.
Sam Leadley,whoportrayed Flor-
enceMcCarthy, and Shelia Furr,who
portrayed Anne Arnold, shared the
story of the LeRoy family in 1832.
As they gathered around the fire in
the basement kitchen, Anne told
everyone about all thepreparations
for Christmas. As the governess, she
was sewing some caps for the three
little girls and some doll clothes for
theirwoodendolls.And shecouldn’t
imaginehow the cookwas going to
prepareall the food forChristmas.
Mrs. LeRoy had copied several
Dutch recipes from her husband’s
family and everyone was excited
about the littlepuffets thatwerebe-
ingcooked in the special puffetpan.
Everyone had a taste of the New
Year’s honey cake, that brings pros-
perity for the coming year. Jacob
LeRoy had to write to his father to
sendmore lemons.Mrs.Wadsworth’s
recipe for lemon liquor required
18 lemons and then there were all
the recipes for lemon jelly, lemon
cheesecake, lemon pie, lemon cake
and lemon drops. Mr. McCarthy’s
readingof“AVisit From St.Nicholas”
seemed to becomemore animated
ashe sipped theLemonLiquor.
ChristmasCandlelightTours VeryPopular
Joanne Graham and Scott Ripley
welcomed everyone into the Parmel-
eehome to learnaboutMr.Parmelee’s
idea for a gas-lit Christmas tree. This
account was taken directly from a
letter from Mr. Parmelee that was
published in
The LeRoy Gazette
. He
couldn’t remember exactly which
year it was, but it was 1865 or 66
whenhe took the train toRochester
to buy small gas nozzles. He built a
gas-lit tree that was exhibited in
Central Hall one year, and Central
Hall another year. He also remem-
bered that the treewas inoneof the
churches. Mrs. Parmelee had made
many decorations for the tree and
folks helped to stringpopcorn. And
there were wonderful sugar plums
to taste and some other treats that
filled thecornucopias.
Denise Duthe and Elizabeth
Bolton, shared some poems that
were written at the time of Ingham
University in the 1860s. “Over the
River and Through theWoods”writ-
tenby Lydia Child in the early 1800s
was originally a Thanksgiving poem,
but is now known as a Christmas
song. HenryWadsworth Longfellow
wrote“I Heard theBellsonChristmas
Day” in1864. Writtenat a lowebb in
the poets life
and during
the Civil War,
the verses
that referred
to the war
were later re-
moved when
it was put
to music in
Carol Wolfe, and Evan and Jacob
Williams created the 1930s kitchen
of the Spry family. As the boys ad-
dressedenvelopes and sealed them
with Christmas seals,Mrs. Spry told
about hearing “Santa Claus is Com-
ing to Town” on the Eddie Cantor
show on the radio and she had al-
ready made her Jell-O plum pud-
ding. Therewere recipes for folks to
Guides for the eveningwereBarb
Elliott, Cheryll Fernaays, Susan Privi-
tera, Michelle Penpento, and Anne
Frew. Christmas carols were sung
in the back parlor accompanied by
DeniseDuthe on the Inghampiano.
Plansarewell underway for tours for
next year.
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