Tonawanda News


November 29, 2012

History for the holidays: Long Homestead opens doors for 2012 Christmas season

Long Homestead opens doors for Christmas


Tonawanda News — A small tree also stands in the study for Christmas. Unlike its tall, straight brethren in the parlors, this one is more what Barnard would term a “Charlie Brown” tree — and is probably more authentic to the house, she said.

“If they had a tree, this is what it would have been like,” she said. “They were not chosen for their symmetry. They just went out to the field and cut down a tree.”

Two toys, a little older than the general time period of the house, wait beneath the tree: a cast iron train from 1900 and an 1870s toy horse.

In addition to the holiday decoration and the textiles, the decor also currently includes a number of dolls from the 1800s, something which, with the numerous Long daughters, undoubtedly were present in the house in the 1800s.

In the dining room, the table is currently set with modern red and green china — not something that would have made an appearance in the 1800s. (Barnard also showed off a set of Blue Willow porcelain, which usually graces the table.)

It’s there for the high teas that will be presented in December by Rose Marohn, a member of the historical society. Marohn said the events will include soup, scones, sandwiches, Christmas cookies and live entertainment by musicians.

Teas will take place Dec. 7 and 8, but only the 2 p.m. Friday slot currently has openings. Call 694-3350 for reservations.

Marohn said that teas also take place at the house in May and September. They started in 2009 and continued in 2010, but didn’t take place last year.

“At Christmastime, it’s especially nice,” she said. “It’s just very relaxing.”

Bernard said the teas serve a purpose beyond that of providing a little bit of Christmas relaxation.

“It does a wonderful job of getting people into the house — and we need to get people into the house,” she said. “People don’t know this place is here. It’s a wonderful piece of history.”

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Benjamin Long Homestead holiday hours • WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 16. • WHERE: The homestead, 24 E. Niagara St., Tonawanda. • FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 694-7406 or email • IN ADDITION: Christmas Teas will take place Dec. 7 and 8 at the homestead. Openings remain at 2 p.m. Dec. 7. The cost is $15. Call 694-3350 for reservations.

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