Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guided Tours of the Hotchkiss Fyler House through Dec. 30

The elegant Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, 192 Main Street, opened its doors to holiday visitors on Saturday, December 10, 2011. Tours will continue through December 30, 2011. The Hotchkiss- Fyler House was built in 1900 and was home to two generations of the family for more than half a century. THe home remains furnished as it was in 1956 when occupied by Gertrude Hotchkiss, daughter of Orsamus and Mary Fyler.

Christmas at the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum features turn-of-the-century holiday decorations and lavish displays of greenery and flowers. Exquisite floral arrangements are provided by the Garden Committee of the Torrington Historical Society and by local horticulturalist Gwenthye b.Harvey.

The dining room table is set for a Christmas dinner with fine china, crystal, silverware, and linens that belonged to Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss. A number of trees are displayed in the house, including a table-top tree in the Sunroom which is decorated with late-19th and early 20th century ornaments on loan from a private collector and a full-size tree in the Reception Room that is covered in handmade Victorian-style ornaments and vintage ornaments from the Society’s collection. Antique toys, also from the Society’s collection, are displayed beneath the Reception Room tree. This year visitors will find decorations and displays throughout the house that feature birds and feathers, a tribute to Mrs. Hotchkiss’ love of animals and nature.

Guided House Tours are offered Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m., tours are on the half hour, the last last tour is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.. Admission is $7 for adults, free for members and children under age 12. The house is closed on Mondays and will be closed on December 24th and December 25th.

An evening tour is scheduled for December 20th at 7 pm. Participants will be treated to a special tour of the House Museum decorated for the holiday season with wreaths, Christmas trees, garlands and flower arrangements. The Hotchkiss-Fyler House at night is a beautiful sight with candles glowing and a fire in the library fireplace. The museum never looks so magical as it does at night during this time of year.

After touring the museum visitors will be escorted to the Carriage House for coffee and dessert. The walls of the Carriage House Gallery display historic photographs of Downtown Torrington. The event will conclude at about 8:30 p.m..

Tickets for this special fundraising event are $20 per person ($15 for members of the Historical Society). Space is limited to about 25 people and reservations are required. To make a reservation call the Historical Society at 860-482-8260 or email at torringtonhistorical@snet.net. For more information about the Hotchkiss Fyler House visit www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org

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