Heritage Holidays Tours at Baker Mansion December 2-3, 9-10, and 16-17, 2016 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: $7 Per Person
Regional Historical Societies Host “Christmas Through the Counties” This holiday season, three esteemed historical institutions welcome the general public to experience Victorian Christmas Celebrations in unique style. The Blair, Cambria, and Centre County Historical Societies—each of which operate local historic house museums—are partnering to host colorful yuletide events at their respective sites in Altoona, State College, and Ebensburg. Visitors who visit all three county historical societies the weekend of December 2-4 and get a Holiday Passport stamped will receive a free one year membership to all three organizations. The free passport can be obtained at any of the three sites that weekend as well as their organizations’ websites. (See the image below.)
The Baker Mansion History Museum in Altoona, home of the Blair County Historical Society, will be hosting Heritage Holiday Tours December 2-3, 9-10, and 16-17, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $7 per person. The historic 1840s home will feature period appropriate decorations emblematic of the Victorian era. Visitors will be welcomed to free refreshments and photographs with Santa amidst the society’s new exhibit space on Altoona’s iconic Gable’s Department Store. Guests will also be able to browse new exhibits and orientation films as seasonal music graces the historic hallways. In addition, the site’s new museum shop will be open with an abundance of gifts and local specialty items for history buffs. The mansion is located at 3419 Oak Lane in Altoona. Call 814-942-3916 or visit www.blairhistory.org for more information.
Meanwhile, join the Cambria County Historical Society for its two Holiday Open Houses and Gingerbread Contest for Kids. Rules and prizes for the Gingerbread Contest can be found at www.cambriacountyhistorical.com. Prizes are provided by Sheetz. The gingerbread exhibit will begin on Friday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also on Friday will be an Evening Open House at the A. W. Buck House at 6:30 p.m. following the downtown Tree Lighting ceremony in Kimball Park. Following the Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3 the Holiday Open House (from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) will feature a Woman’s Civil War group, a special toy exhibit, and a basket raffle at 2 p.m. For more information call 814-472-6674. Admission is free. The A. W. Buck House is located at 615 North Center Street in Ebensburg.
Finally, Join the Centre County Historical Society for their Stocking Stuffer Antiques, Art and Fine Craft Sale at Centre Furnace Mansion in State College. The event features the hand-crafted work of local artisans and fine antiques by local dealers creating a unique indoor showcase featuring over fifty vendors. The sale has unique gifts of all kinds available for purchase. Find regionally-made pottery, fine artwork, antique and vintage collectibles, jewelry, photography, holiday wreaths and arrangements, and a treasure trove of handmade crafts. Enjoy shopping in this festively decorated Victorian ambiance. The $5 admission includes hot cider and desserts. Proceeds benefit Centre County Historical Society. Hours are December 2-3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and December 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at 1001 East College Avenue in State College. Call 814-234-4779 or visit www.centrehistory.org for more information.
While the bulk of activities take place the first weekend in December, Baker Mansion will be open the first three weekends of the month on Friday and Saturday evenings. Other times for Centre Furnace tours are 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Other hours for the Buck House are Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Fridays 10 a.m. to 4pm; Thursdays 1 p.m. to 8p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The events seek to offer residents of the central Pennsylvania region the opportunity to explore local historic sites in the tri-county area.
PRINT OUT THE PASSPORT SHEET BELOW TO MAKE USE OF THE "CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE COUNTIES" OFFER!
Women's Club of Altoona Christmas Tea December 3, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Free but donations accepted
The Women's Club of Altoona will be hosting a Christmas Tea and holiday open house on December 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Located in the historic stone building that was once part of the Baker Family's Alleghany Furnace at 3400 Crescent Road in Altoona, the Club welcomes community members to join in seasonal cheer with a Christmas Tea and holiday decorations. The Alleghany Furnace was built in 1811, the second oldest in Blair County. The building in front of the furnace that served as both store and residence was added some years later. Now known as The Clubhouse for the Women's Club of Altoona, it is the oldest house in the city. Both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Donations will be gratefully accepted for the ongoing maintenance of the historic furnace structure. The Blair County Historical Society cordially invites guests of the Women's Club to come see the decorations at nearby Baker Mansion afterward.
Remembering Pearl Harbor - The 75th Anniversary December 7, 2016 at 7p.m. Admission: Free but donations accepted
This year, the United States remembers the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II. Baker Mansion will mark that anniversary with a presentation by James Lowe titled “Remembering Pearl Harbor.” Mr. Lowe has been a long-time collector of World War II memorabilia and will discuss the history of the event and how the country used the event to rally the war effort of the United States. He will have artifacts from his personal collection on display.
Lowe first traveled to Pearl Harbor as a sophomore in high school and has collected artifacts from the war for most of his adult life. He was a contributor to the book Remember Pearl Harbor. Mr. Lowe teaches American History at Altoona Area High School and is Vice-president of the Blair County Historical Society. The presentation will be at 7pm at Baker Mansion on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the anniversary of the attack. Admission is free but donations are appreciatively accepted.
The Glory of Gable's Book Signing December 10, 2016 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Included in $7 general admission
Once upon a department store, Gable’s was the place to shop, eat, meet, and be seen in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania. Now, the classic store has come back to life in the pages of this one-of-a-kind book. For the first time, the whole true story of Gable’s, its leaders, its employees, and the shoppers who loved it has been told, complete with secrets and inside stories from those who knew it best. You’ll never forget this trip through a century of retail history, from the store’s humble beginnings to its glory days to the thrilling fight to save it from going out of business. Hundreds of rare photos and images grace the pages of this unique illustrated history. Join author Robert Jeschonek for a book signing on December 10th to coincide with the light opening of Baker Mansion's new exhibit on Gable's! A portion of all book sales from that night benefit the Blair County Historical Society.
Easter Egg Hunt at Baker Mansion Coming April 2017
Civil War Weekend at Royer Mansion Coming May 6-7, 2017
World War II Victory Weekend Coming June 2017
Mansion Photo Courtesy Chris Letherland.
Concerts on the Lawn at Baker Mansion Coming Summer 2017
Baker Boulevard Community Yard Sale Coming August 2017
Vintage Car Cruise-In at Baker Mansion Coming Fall 2017
Baker Mansion History Museum Bus Tour Returning Fall 2017
Mansion Photo Courtesy Chris Letherland.
Ghost Hunts at Baker Mansion Coming in October 2017
Ghostly Tours at Baker Mansion Returning in October 2017
Annual Society Dinner and Awards Ceremony November 2017
Event Photo Gallery
Blair County Historical Society Physical Site: Baker Mansion 3419 Oak Lane Altoona, PA 16602