The air is cold and crisp and winter is finally underway. That also means that the holidays are fast approaching, and people are beginning to prepare in earnest for it. Decorations are going up, presents are being purchased, and good deeds are being performed.
The staff members at the Heyward House are equally busy planning for the holidays. November 30th we are planning on decorating the Heyward House in a Victorian Christmas fashion. A Christmas tree will appear in the Gentleman’s parlor, decorated with old vintage ornaments. Giant wreaths will take their place on the front porch, along with yards of garland. Mantle’s will be decorated with Santa’s, oyster shell wreaths, and candle sticks. The doll houses in the Ladies parlor will join the festivities and be equally as decorated. Candles (electric, we promise) will glow in the windows at night, a symbol of welcoming guests into the home. We’ve even heard a rumor that a couple of mischievous elves will make an appearance.
Front Door Wreath
The Christmas Parade is steadily approaching (yay!) and we are participating again this year. However, this year we will have a trailer pulled by a tractor and ladies walking beside it in period clothing. Staff members are planning on how the trailer will be decorated, so make sure you keep any eye out for us during the parade.
Our Victorian Ladies in the 2013 Christmas Parade
We are also preparing for the upcoming Oyster Roast that is going to take place on December 5th. This is our annual fundraiser and should promise to be a great time. The event will be held at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park and the Toomers are going to provide delicious May River Oysters. If you aren’t a big fan of oysters, don’t worry they will have BBQ there as well. The tickets for the oyster roast are $30 per person, and children 12 & under get in for free. The winning tickets for the bird houses will be drawn at the oyster roast, and someone will walk away with replica bird houses of the Heyward House and the Teel House. If bird houses don’t peak your interest, then the 50/50 drawing and the silent auction should.
2014 BHPS Oyster Roast
We have many holiday traditions at the Heyward House, and we started a new one this year. We are an official drop-off location for Toys for Tots. We thought that this would be a good way to give back to the community that has supported us over the years. The donation box can hold 50 toys and we would like to give the Marine Corps a full box of toys, but we need your help! We will be accepting new unwrapped toys during business hours until December 16th.
If you have any questions about anything from the blog post, please call us at 843-757-6293 or email us at email@example.com
On Sunday, May 17, 2015, Katie and I loaded up a minivan and took a total of 4 volunteers with us to Savannah. It was a volunteer field trip that we offer to all of our active volunteers as a way of saying thank you. This trip was smaller than usual, lots of folks were out of town that weekend. (Never fear, we are going to plan another one for later this year.)
We were on our way to Savannah, a place many of us had visited before but had we truly ever been a tourist there? I know I hadn’t been a tourist in the city. Normally I just stop off at the malls. (Shameful I know)
It was a beautiful day, I mean really it was. It was hot, but not too hot and it was just a nice day. We started our Savannah adventure with Oglethorpe Trolley Tours. They were nice enough to offer our group free trolley tours of the city. The Trolley tour gave us a great way to see most of the downtown area. We drove past places I hadn’t realized were there, and we were able to hear a great history of the house. Even better was the fact that they would pick us up from any of their stops along the way and take us back to our car. I cannot even begin to express how awesome that was!!
From Left to Right: Alyssa, Katie, and Marilyn
From Left to Right: Ed and Matt
Left to Right: Alyssa, Katie, Marilyn, Ann, and Ed
After the trolley tour, we stopped for lunch. I had made reservations at Soho South Cafe in the downtown area. It is a very nice restaurant/cafe that used to be a service garage during WWII. The decorations inside the cafe gave it a eclectic vibe. They had mismatched chairs, old wooden doors hanging on the walls, and a gorgeous clock hanging from the middle of the room.
The Clock that hung in the middle of the restaurant
The bar area for Soho!
After a filling lunch at Soho South Cafe (we didn’t save room for dessert :(). We walked down to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace for the 12:45 tour. First of all can I just say, the house is gorgeous!! The rooms are amazingly decorated and the story of the house is given very well by the house docent. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures of the rooms, except for one. The only room that we were allowed to take photos of was the library. The library was a space that showcased books, speeches, artwork from women throughout time. They had a speech that Eleanor Roosevelt gave playing on an Ipod. Books about women, written by women lined their bookshelves. Artwork hung all over the room. It was an amazing place for anyone, especially the young girl scouts that visit the house on a daily basis.
Quotes from Juliette Gordon Lowe line the sheets that decorate the wall
Interactive Table that was in the room
The leaves in the tree have quotes from different languages written by girls around the world.
After the Juliette Gordon Lowe house we set off for Ft. Pulaski. The Fort lies about five miles outside of Savannah, just before Tybee Island. We’ve been wanting to go to Ft. Pulaski for awhile now, to see if the rumors of the fort still having furniture from Bluffton were true. The fee to get to the fort was nominal, and we could use our pass for the next five days. (Great deal!) We were able to make it to the fort in time for the last tour. The tour was great, and we learned a lot of information. After the tour we walked around the fort, including the top. They had rooms set up like they would have been set up during the fort’s use. They had signs up describing each room, and two of the signs mentioned that furniture had been taken from Bluffton!! However, we weren’t sure which pieces of furniture came from Bluffton.
Civil War Graffiti
More Civil War Graffiti saying “This Way Out”
View from the top of the fort
They “confiscated” furniture from Bluffton.
Another sign mentioning that furniture was taken from Bluffton.
Over all, the docents really enjoyed the field trip. We try to do these types of trips as often as we can. It’s our way of saying Thanks to all of our volunteers. They do so much for us, and this is the least we could do for them! Katie and I are going to work on another field trip for the docents this fall, and hopefully more will be able to attend!
It’s hard to believe that this year is coming to a close. It might be a cliche, but time really has flown by us this year. I feel that we have accomplished a lot throughout the year, and I know that next year will bring us many more accomplishments.
This year we were able to create new educational programs that allowed for a more hands on experience for children and adults. We have done more research on the families that lived in the house and because of that we were able to depict a more accurate story. We have had several events that have proven to be profitable for the historical society, including the introduction of our tea parties.
We’ve also got some great things in the works for next year! A new exhibit, a new tour option for the house, and so much more! We can’t wait to show ya’ll what we have planned!!
I have to say that if it wasn’t for the support we receive, we really would be able to do everything that we do! The Bluffton community is one of the best, because they know how important it is to preserve the past. I hope that we will receive the same support for the new programs that we are working on for next year! We’ve got some good lecture ideas tucked away, that will hopefully prove to be successful.
Stick with us, we’ve got some great things planned.