PINNACLE — Christmas from days gone by were on display last night as Horne Creek Living Historical Farm held the first night of its annual favorite, Christmas by Lamplight event.
The living history farm will hold a second day of the event Thursday beginning at 5 p.m.
Lisa Turney, site director for the farm, noted that residents from near and far turn out for the holiday event, which is designed to show how Christmas was celebrated circa 1900.
“This is one of our very favorite events,” she said. “We try to show a very rural Christmas the way it truly was.”
While Turney noted that most events during the era would have been held at a church, “there were things at home as well, like caroling and reading scripture and holiday writings.”
One of the things that surprise many visitors to the Lamplight event is the religious overtones that permeated the lives of those living during the period.
“The religious portion is as it should be to accurately portray life in 1900,” Turney said. “They were very religious people, which is understandable because for farmers, they were at the mercy of the weather.”
And death was never far away.
“People died at home,” Turney said. “They slaughtered animals.”
Two things struck Turney when she researched the period.
“These people had a very strong work ethic, and they had a deep and abiding faith in God.”
The farm focuses on the Hauser family, who owned the land from 1830 to the 1960s, Turney said.
As the event got under way, rooms were lit by lamplight and fires crackled as visitors gathered around a vintage pump organ.
The Lamplight celebration was held in three rooms in the historic home, where upstairs a fire awaited in a bedroom, where Rickie Jessup performed “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause,” and told the crowd about the history of the holiday and the meaning behind some of the modern traditions.
During his rendition of “Yes, Virginia,” Jessup noted that faith plays a role in the lives of area residents today.
“The most real things in the world are those that no man or child can see,” he said. “Folks, there is a Santa and he is in all of us. Let’s give of ourselves and help others.”
In another room, Eddie Carter and his wife Melissa told the crowd about the history of the farm before reading the biblical “A Christmas Story” and performing “Oh, Holy Night.”
Tom Southern told stories interspersed with Christmas favorites such as “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” and his message was delivered through a battlefield story set at the Battle of the Bulge during a break in the fighting.
He told of an American soldier who, homesick, began singing “Silent Night.”
“As the quiet returned after this young man finished singing, a German soldier began to sing,” Southern said before he broke into a German version of the holiday favorite.
“It reminds us all of the yearning to be home for Christmas,” Southern said. “Please join me in one more verse.”
And as the 20 or so people in the room began to sing, their voices blended into perfect harmony.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.3