LET IT GLOW! Davenport House Museum celebrates the season with candlelight tours

Jeff Freeman, Assistant Dir. of Davenport House Museum; Jill Wert, Docent; and Isa Lilja-Vazquez, Savannah Arts Academy Junior Interpreter at the Davenport House Museum.

Next to the manicured green space, bubbling fountain, and majestic live oaks of Columbia Square sits The Davenport House Museum (DHM), a stately American Federal-style brick home recognized as the first property saved by the Historic Savannah Foundation.  Today, its halls are decked for the season and donned in holiday spirit for the anticipated upcoming Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight.

Starting Sunday, December 26 through Thursday, December 30, DMH staff, docents, and volunteers open the house for candlelit tours for locals, families, and visitors alike.

“The event celebrates the coming of the New Year as it would have been observed 200 years ago,” said Jamie Credle, Davenport House Museum Director. “We’ve hosted this event for 18 years.  It’s our gift to families who might be visiting during the holidays who are looking for something unique to do.  It’s also wonderful for locals who just want to experience something special for themselves in their own back yard.”

Credle said patrons may arrive at the historic house, located at 324 East State Street, any time between 6-8 p.m. for the fifty-minute tour.

This family-friendly event will feature costumed docents telling the story of early 19th-century holiday festivities. 

“The tours will begin every 15 minutes, conducted by volunteers, staff, and docents.  There will be cider punch, shortbread, singing, and dancing,” she said.

“The group Bella Harmony—vocalist Audrey Allgaier and guitarist Joe Flanders—will perform Auld Lang Syne in the drawing room the first two and last two nights.  The time slots are beginning to fill up, so reservations are strongly encouraged,” she stressed.

Vocalist Liana Mosley, who started as a Savannah Arts Academy junior interpreter eight years ago, will be singing on Tuesday, December 28.

“So many of our docents are Savannah Arts Academy guides who’ve trained with us.  You’ll see they’re such happy people who love doing these tours and sharing what they know,” Credle said.

Part of the experience, Credle said, will include a short, dramatic presentation on the discovery of Clement Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” However, she insists the highlight will be experiencing the house by candlelight.

“Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight allows our guests the opportunity to get a glimpse at a time long ago when the world was so different,” said Credle. “We’ve all been through so much the past couple of years that it’s almost as if we’ve been going through the motions of the holidays.  Although Christmas celebrations change over time, the basics are still the same:  sharing food, fun, and fellowship with family and friends.  We get to be happy with the people who matter most, knowing we made it through another year,” she said with a laugh.

When asked what she hoped people would come away with after the candlelight tour, Credle said, “The house is visually stunning.  It’s the first property saved by the Savannah Historic Preservation and it started a movement in this city.  We’re not a city in decay.  We have history and we conserve it, develop it, and learn from it.”

Credle hopes visitors and locals alike will use this time of year to appreciate the city around us.

“It’s time to just suspend whatever turmoil you’re dealing with and take in this beautiful city, especially this time of year.  We’re all looking for new promises in 2022.  We put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.”

“We hope the spirit of our New Year celebration will resonate and warm the hearts of our visitors.”

Admission for Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight is $12 for adults in advance and $15 at the door. Children ages 6-17 are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. DHM asks that patrons call about scheduling a time to visit or indicate on their online purchase the time they hope to enter the house.

The tour requires that guests be able to walk up and down stairs and maneuver in dimly lit rooms. Guests will be asked to be mindful of current safety guidelines during the tour and should anticipate wearing masks inside the building.

For more information or to reserve tickets, please call 912-236-8097, visit davenporthousemuseum.org, contact info@davenporthousemuseum.org, or visit the Davenport House Museum Shop.


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