11th Annual Victorian Christmas

A Victorian Christmas Exposed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania!

Victorian Christmas Ball: Aprons to Ascots

Join us as we celebrate the 11th annual Victorian Christmas, “Aprons to Ascots: A Victorian Christmas 'Exposed'" this year, slated for November 14, 20, 21 and 22, 2009.

The theme, "Aprons to Ascots," was chosen to "expose" the two sides of domestic life the two staircases, front and back. The tour will reveal the kitchens where the staff worked, how the servants dressed, how they used the appliances and how the house functioned around the servants who provided the opulent lifestyle of the master and the mistress of the house. Those who wore the ascot, as well as the apron, will be at each house, reenacting vignettes for your entertainment.

Tours are planned of Victorian and Historic Mansions and Churches along West Fourth Street, in Downtown, and in the Vallamont and Greater Williamsport Area. Other events also are planned at the Durrwachter House Women's Museum and the Rowley House Museum.  The Thomas Taber Museum and the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum will be open for your enjoyment.

The mansions will feature area florists or displays and will be hosted by guides in period dress. Musical entertainment is provided throughout the afternoon at tour sites courtesy of a Pennsylvania Partners on the Arts grant.

For a detailed schedule, please click on Schedule of Events.

Photos courtesy of Richard Karp (copyright 2009, http://www.rikkisan.com)


870 West Fourth Street
Edmund Metzger, owner
Samuel Jones House

Williamsport, PA

Built by Peter Herdic, circa 1869, the Munson, Deemer, Ciccarelli, Metzger House is a fine example of Queen Anne style with multiple building materials including a brick first floor, ceramic tile on the second floor and ceramic fish scale tile on the gables. The multi-gabled slate roof features with three decorative chimneys. Front porch restoration and extensive remodeling has been sensitively accomplished by Edmund Metzger.

Decorated by florist Special Occasion Florals

1005 West Fourth Street
Judee and Ted Lyon, owners
Cochran Lyon House with Carriage House
Williamsport, PA

Circa 1869 English gothic style, the Cochran/Lyon House and Carriage House was one of the social centers of Williamsport when occupied by Anne M. (Weightman-Walker) Pennfield, who was said to be the richest woman in world, at the time. The house was later owned by J. Henry Cochran and is currently owned by his descendants. The porches date back to the Weightman-Walker occupancy. The house was converted into apartments in the 1930s.

Decorated by Nevill's Flowers


707 West Fourth Street
Preservation Williamsport, owner

Rowley House Museum

Williamsport, PA

Probably the most magnificent remaining example of the craftsmanship which exemplified Millionaire's Row, this 1888 home was designed by Eber Culver and built on land purchased by Peter Herdic. It is recognized as one of the most outstanding examples of Queen Anne architecture in the state and features extraordinary Tiffany quality stained glass windows which were featured in Victorian Homes Magazine.  The cherry and oak woodwork is in excellent condition, and the electric light fixtures are extremely rare.  On the second floor is a multimedia room formerly used as a chapel by the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who taught at St. Joseph's School across the street at Annunciation parish. It was opened to the public as a Victorian House Museum summer 2007.

Decorated by florist Janet's Floral Creations


901 West Fourth Street
Lycoming County Historical Society, owner
Johnson House Museum

Williamsport, PA

Late Victorian Queen Anne, this home (also known as the Johnson/Lamade House) was completely custom designed with colonial revival influence.  The outside of this house is original and boasts many stylistic features, such as double roof dormers with wood shingles and fish scale trim, that were not found in the typical pattern book of the time.  It was designed in 1890 by Amos Wagner and built for Henry Johnson, a state legislator from Muncy, who moved to the city to help his six daughters find suitable husbands among the wealthy men of Williamsport.  The Johnsons were so pleased with Wagner's work, they had him build a similar home next door on Maynard Street for one of their daughters. There are many new restoration efforts added this year by Bob Kane, interior decorator and preservationist. The house is now a women's museum of the 1800s.

Decorated by florist Barbara Lamade


1217 Campbell Street,
John and Jennifer Albarano, owners
Vallamont Neighborhood
Williamsport, PA

The American idea of Italian-style architecture, this house was designed by Aymar Embury II and built for Calvin McCauley in 1917. In a woodland setting, the house has a steep approach and the rooms were faced to have views of the Susquehanna Valley. An inviting spacious hall extends from the front vestibule to a small porch at the back of the house to welcome guests. A piazza, featuring a black-and-white tile floor, extends the length of the house. It was handsomely remodeled by the Albaranos, whose family originally owned it at one time in its history.

Decorated by Mystic Garden Florals and Gifts


820 Vallamont Drive
Heister Linn, owner
Greystone House
Williamsport, PA

This house was originally built by Charles R. Harris in 1890, but was destroyed by fire in 1893. Lumberman Allen Putnam Perley rebuilt the mansion in splendor. The house was designed by Eber Culver and Son, Architects. The Perley family lived at Greystones until the 1930s when it was then threatened to be demolished. It was rescued when the Krimm family purchased it. Presently, the house features handsome oak woodwork enhanced by leaded glass and five decorative fireplaces. The present owner, Heister Linn, displays trophies of his many safari hunting trips throughout the world.

Decorated by

319 Lincoln Avenue
Valerie Beggs, owner
Arts & Crafts (Summer) House
Williamsport, PA

This summer house is a fine example of Japanese influence on the arts-and-crafts style of the 1920s, a simplistic answer to the ornate Victorian style. It features classic oak woodwork, fine leaded glass, copper ornamental trim and a 1950s-style kitchen.

Decorated by Special Occasion Florals

214 West Fourth Street
'The Lofts' at the Genetti
Williamsport, PA

This luxurious, newly renovated loft apartment has it all. It is tastefully themed in black, red and white with tile and hardwood floors throughout. A granite and stainless-steel kitchen and large living room offer spacious areas for entertaining or relaxing comfortably.

Decorated by Halls Florist

807 West Fourth Street
Covenant Central Presbyterian Church

Williamsport, PA

Covenant Central Church was completed in 1910; built in the Romanesque style using gray Avondale marble with a red tile roof. Of historical interest is the "Christ Window," the "English Bible Window" and the "Missionary Window," which were crafted by Frederick S. Lamb, in the studio of J. & R. Lamb of New York, member of the American School of Stained Glass Art. "In its external appearance the structure gives the impression of solidity, cheerful openness, and much dignified beauty in line and color. This, together with its site -- one of the most commanding in the city -- makes an architectural combination which is eloquent of the leading ideals of modern church life."

Organ music will be performed throughout the day and light refreshments will be served.


380 West Fourth Street
First Baptist Church
Williamsport, PA

This landmark church was originally designed and built by Eber Culver in 1854.  It has been served by 21 pastors and six interim pastors in three different buildings all on the same corner of ground donated by Peter Herdic.  Peter's wife was a member of the congregation.  After being destroyed by floods, the original building was torn down in 1889.  The main sanctuary was completed in 1914.  The church is an example of the Romanesque style of architecture, with mountain stone quarried from this area.  The present church is known for its beautiful sanctuary with the eight stained glass windows depicting Baptist patriarchs. The jewel of all the windows faces West Fourth Street and depicts the baptism of Jesus. Designed in London and built in New York City by Young and Bonawitz in 1914, the windows were taken apart to be transported to Williamsport.


436 West Fourth Street
Christ Community Worship Center

Williamsport, PA

Originally Church of the Covenant and more recently St. Paul's Lutheran Church, this limestone structure has a center spire, bell tower, and steeply pitched roof with stone finials.  The windows are pointed and arched.  It has the largest expanse of Tiffany stained glass in Northcentral Pennsylvania.  Note the arched entryway with decorative insets.


700 West Fourth Street
Annunciation Church

Williamsport, PA

Built in 1886 by Amos Wagner on land donated by Peter Herdic, the church was built to service the Irish Catholic community.  It is an example of the Romanesque style of architecture, and the sandstone came from the nearby Ralston Quarry.  The church has a multi-gabled slate roof and walls with colored belt courses.  There are 43 arched stained glass windows.  The entryway and entry doors are semi-circular.  The bell tower is open with a decorative cornice and patterned stone.  The center tower was capped when three workers fell to their deaths during construction.  The interior has marble altars and Tiffany windows, including "The Accession of Christ" behind the main altar installed in the early 1900s.  Note the use of marble and gold. The church seats 1,000 people.


844 West Fourth Street
Trinity Episcopal Church
Williamsport, PA

Built in 1875 by Culver and Thorn, the church was paid for by Peter Herdic, who donated not only the land but also the entire building to Trinity Parish for one dollar as long as the pews remain "forever free."  His father-in-law, Judge Maynard, presented the church with the first set of nine-bell Westminster chimes in America, the same as heard in the Big Ben Tower of London.  An example of English Gothic architecture, the church is built with stone quarried from Bald Eagle Mountain at Muncy and brownstone from Hummelstown.  Note the pointed arches and windows, steeply pitched colored slate roof, and 265-foot spire. In an 1876 issue of the Parish Dial, the following passage appears concerning the church's windows: "Words cannot paint the loveliness of these windows. The makers, Aickin and Isaac, Philadelphia, have conscientiously adhered to the true idea of glass staining, which does not consist in painting the various colors upon large sheets of glass, but in leading together separate pieces so as to present a transparent mosaic. The side windows show exquisite geometrical designs.

© Copyright 2005 - 2009 Victorian Christmas,
All rights reserved.