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Santa will be at Heritage House this weekend

To The Leader

 

The lights are on the Christmas tree and the stockings are hung. Garland drapes around the dining room and the dining table is set with china plates and crystal glasses for a holiday dinner. Even the upstairs sleeping porch is festooned with greenery and red ribbons.

The Heritage House Museum, 905 Division Avenue by the courthouse, is ready once again to welcome Santa Claus. The jolly old elf will bring his younger elves to the museum on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5. Free tours of the 1902 J.O. Sims residence will be given. Guests will be able to have cookies and punch as they visit with friends.

People are invited to bring cameras to take photographs with Santa and the inside of the house.

The Santa tradition has been the museum’s gift to the community since the 1970s. Heritage House Museum was the county’s 1976 U.S. Bicentennial project to preserve the county’s rich history. The Sims house was moved a couple of blocks to a spot where it could be preserved.

J.O. Sims was a banker and a descendant of the Ochiltree family, one of the county’s early Anglo settlers.

The four upstairs bedrooms are decorated with artifacts from local history. One bedroom even has a quilt honoring a 1930s Orange High School football team. Squares on the quilt are embroidered with player’s names.

Some of the furnishings in the house are original to the Sims family. Other artifacts and decorations have been donated by the community. Every room in the four-bedroom, two-story house has been decorated for the season.