French-Canadian Christmas at Historic Alexander Faribault House
The Alexander Faribault house was the first wood frame house in southern Minnesota. Constructed in 1853 the home is a fascinating travel back in time.
The Rice County Historical Society (RCHS) invites everyone to tour the home for FREE this Saturday during the Faribault Winterfest celebration.
The 14th Annual Alexander Faribault House Open House is from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2021.
RCHS Executive Director Susan Garwood says, "In 1853 Christmas decorating was kept to a minimum. However the White House had a Christmas tree at that time which signaled the beginning of a trend. During the mid-nineteenth century some of the traditions, collections, and decorations were: Nativity Creche; glued, sugared fruit, nuts, candy, fruit placed in children's shoes instead of stockings; garland, special dinnerware, holly, calling cards, dried flowers, almond cake, and music."
When you sign the guest book in the foyer, you will see Mr. Faribault's handwritten note. "We send you all our best respects. Your truly friends. Alex Faribault." You will also see a notice written in French wishing you a "Merry Christmas."
"An original oil painting by Faribault artist Grace McKinstry adds elegance to the space," Garwood states.
"As you enter the parlor, a portrait of Alexander Faribault and his father, Jean-Baptiste welcomes you. From there you move to the dining room which was, effectively, Faribault's civic center in 1853."
Garwood explains, "This historic room is where one of the city's first church services was held; it served as a school classroom, post office, and a community meeting place. Mr. and Mrs. Faribault's spacious dining room will also be wrapped in holiday style, ready for visitors."
You are also invited to tour the upstairs portion of the house, to see Mary Elizabeth's sewing room and the bedrooms. In the west end of the second floor there's a museum with Faribault family artifacts as well as a Faribault Business exhibit.
Many local businesses are featured in the exhibit including Nutting Truck and Castor, Brand Peony Farm, the Olympia and Ochs Department Store.
Due to the newest variant, and in keeping with recommended Rice County and CDC Guidelines regarding COVID-19, RCHS is asking everyone to wear a mask.
They will have masks available at no cost to visitors.
For questions please call the museum at 507-332-2121.
Some of these may have been seen in the home over the years.
CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads