Perkins House shines for Christmas

Brittany W.
Brittany W. Verge
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It had been over 50 years since the Perkins House was decorated for Christmas when the museum was invited to join in the Christmas House Tour festivities.

Each room in the downstairs of the house had a theme.  The front rooms, the keeping room and withdrawing room, were decorated with a Victorian Theme.  The kitchen and the Counting room were decorated with a colonial theme (1700s) and the summer kitchen was decorated to match the early 1900s.

Interpreters Linda Moulton and Irene Hupman headed up the decorating.  They researched the different eras and found artifacts and décor that matched.  Both women also volunteered to interpret the day of the tour and guided guests through the house while dressed in colonial costuming.  Jean Doucette dressed as Simeon Perkins and greeted guests from Simeon’s study (the counting room).

The Perkins House was lived in from 1766 until the end of World War II so the themes matched various periods in which the house was inhabited.  The house generally represents the 1700s, specifically the American Revolution period and the furnishings range from 1720 to the early 1800s.

The Perkins House is only open from June 1 until Oct. 15, which means Linda Rafuse, manager of the house and the Queens County Museum had to seek special permission from the government to open and decorate the house.

“This was the first time and it won’t be the last,” says Rafuse.

Rafuse says because of the house tour, the Nova Scotia museum is looking at an interpretive renewal plan with the Perkins House.  She says the result will mean the house looks and feels a little more lived in and hopefully new activities and revenue generators will follow.

The summer kitchen also saw a permanent update.  As the most changed room in the house (changed from the colonial period) it became a sort of staff area and less of a show room.

  A few years ago the museum received artifacts from the NF Douglas store in North Queens.  The Queens County Museum is quite full and so the artifacts were set up like a store in the summer kitchen of the Perkins House.  The artifacts are from the early 1900s and Rafuse says they can fit in the interpretation of the house by explaining the mercantile business and drawing comparisons to Simeon Perkins’ mercantile establishment.

Rafuse had hoped the house could remain open for Christmas but because of the cold weather, she and staff felt that closing the house and covering the artifacts would be safer.

Organizations: Perkins House, Queens County Museum, Nova Scotia museum

Geographic location: North Queens

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