The W.H. Stark House Kicks Off WWI Exhibit with “Roaring” Fun

Published 4:06 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

Special to The Leader

The W.H. Stark House announces the opening of a new special exhibit The World War I Home Front: Orange Goes Over the Top Saturday, April 8, 2017. In conjunction, the House will host a family-friendly ragtime celebration called 1920s Day: A Return to Normalcy. On April 8, House tours will take place every 20 minutes from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; 1920s Day will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The World War I Home Front Exhibit

This new exhibit tells the story of how the Starks and the local community worked in home front efforts during World War I. This special exhibit is nestled in the House’s third-floor Tower Room overlooking the intersection of Green Avenue and 6th Street in downtown Orange, and it is the last stop on a regular tour.

The exhibit explores how the Starks and the town of Orange supported wartime activities. Almost everyone in Orange, from the Starks to their relatives, servants and employees played an active role. Come hear stories of those who joined the military, gave gifts of orchids to troops, knit for the Red Cross, fulfilled government contracts and much more.

See a glimpse into local life at a unique and historic moment highlighted in the exhibit’s seven themed sections, which include: Introduction, Red Cross, The Orchid Lady (Frances Ann Lutcher), Industry, Soldiers and Belgian Relief (showing examples of hand-knit lace). Visitors will learn the importance of lumber to the war effort, see information honoring the soldiers from Orange who served, hear songs popular during the war, and guests can place blue or gold stars on a large floor map where their own family members served or gave their lives in service with the military.

House tours are open to visitors 6 years of age or older and walk-in group tours for groups of less than 7 visitors are welcome. For guest convenience, call 409.883.0871 for tour availability.

1920s Day: A Return to Normalcy

As an additional exciting event on April 8, the House will step back into the Roaring 20s, and the public is invited to help put on a party that’s the Cat’s Meow! 1920s Day: A Return to Normalcy will be a hopping good time from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Carriage House.

This event offers the chance for visitors to learn about the Great War and the impact it had on American life, mingle with hooch-free “mocktails”, make fancy fascinators or nifty bow ties and explore 1920s fashion, careers and every day life.

Make new connections between the past and present, and discover how much food and other items cost or what people earned to make a living in the 20s. Enjoy fun facts such as: Piggly Wiggly was selling 10 pounds of sugar for 70 cents!

Both tours of the exhibit and 1920s Day begin in the adjacent Carriage House located at 610 West Main Avenue and are included with general admission – Adults/$6, Seniors, Students & Youth/$5, Children (age 6 – 9)/$2. Stark Cultural Venues’ Members receive free admission. Free parking is offered across the street at the Lutcher Theater parking lot.