Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Victorian Christmas lights up Kirkman House

Last weekend volunteers met to light up the Kirkman House Museum with traditional decorations for its annual Victorian Christmas Jubilee.

“It’s really a great way to get people thrilled about Christmas and is the kick off to the holiday season in Walla Walla,” said Greer Buchanan, assistant director of the museum.

Complete with a clanking steam radiator and a handsome staircase, the Victorian Era home proudly wears its Christmas garlands.

Aside from decorations the house is preparing for live bands, carol singing led by City Council Member Barbara Clark and homemade treats. Community volunteers who had attended the event previously all commented on the desserts; especially a peanut brittle that is supposed to the best.

“That’s the rumor anyways,” said Buchanan who, although born and raised in Walla Walla, will be attending Victorian Christmas for the first time.

Fred and Sally Kearsley were active helpers in preparing for the Christmas party. Mrs. Kearsley, the current president of the Kirkman House board of directors, was a ready decorator while Mr. Kearsley prepared himself to play a Santa Claus garbed in green, not red.

“We’re not placing an age limit on Saint Nicholas,” said Buchanan.

June McKenzie and her son David McKenzie, recent arrivals to Walla Walla,  helped set up the tree.

“I have a good friend who always volunteers for the Kirkman House and she told us about the event,” said June McKenzie. “It’s a beautiful place to be doing something like this in.”

The Kirkman House, located on 214 N. Colville St., was built in the 1880s. It was donated to Whitman College in 1919 where it served as a dorm for first-year boys. After that, it was as an apartment building for the Walla Walla community but soon fell into disrepair. The building was to be torn down but is currently being restored due to the formation of a Historical Architecture Development Corporation.

“I had the kids scrubbing on their hands and knees,” said Beverly Filla, a volunteer for the house. In the past year and a half, she brought in Whitman students to scrub the floors and bring back its original shine.

Though Victorian Christmas is a popular event, many are unaware of it.

“You’d be amazed how many Walla Wallans don’t know about this place,” she said.

With all the efforts of the many volunteers and the continuously  praised  board members, the event is readying itself to bring new attendees this year.

Victorian Christmas will be held this Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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