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Celebrate Christmas the pioneer way at various Oklahoma historic sites

Oklahoma historic sites will offer tours and holiday-themed activities around the state.
BY MAX NICHOLS Published: November 25, 2012

“The Murrell Home will be decorated for its 12th annual Christmas Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9,” said David Fowler, director of the Murrell Home. “The halls will be decked in 1800s Christmas fashions, and music will fill the air. The open house will be free and open to the public, but donations will be appreciated.

The Friends of the Murrell Home will sponsor a reception with refreshments.

Cherokee Strip

The Cherokee Strip Museum will again take part in the Perry Christmas Tour of Homes from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9, said Peggy Haxton, director of the museum.

The tour generates money to provide Christmas decorations for Perry's town square.

“The museum will be reminiscent of the way our ancestors decorated before electric lights,” Haxton said. “Decorations will include many handmade items, including scherenschnitte, greenery, popcorn and apples. Scherenschnitte is a German word for scissor cuts, an art of paper cutting design. Visitors to the museum will be served hot cider and coffee along with homemade cookies.”

Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson Historic Site will present the Candle Light Tour every 15 minutes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

The Candle Light Tour has been a “cornerstone of the holiday season in northeastern Oklahoma,” David Fowler said.

“The theme for this year will be Christmas 1848,” said Fowler. “Visitors will experience a frontier Christmas as men and women of the fort return home from war.” Admission will be $8, and reservations are required.

Territorial Museum

The Oklahoma Territorial Museum will participate in Guthrie's annual Victorian Walk presented by the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 8 and 15.

The Victorian Walk will feature live performances, Candle Light Trolley Tours, and evening walks that include live window scenes celebrating life in territorial Guthrie, said Nathan Turner of the Territorial Museum. Carolers, peanut vendors and lights will illuminate the National Historic District.

These dramatic events will bring to life the way Christmas was celebrated by pioneers who came to Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory and developed the state of Oklahoma in 1907.

Max Nichols writes a monthly column for the Oklahoma Historical Society.