Designers win history awards at Tanner House

  • Part of Michael Bryant's decoration in the Family Sitting Room, featuring Christmas trees of the mid- to late-1800s.

    Part of Michael Bryant's decoration in the Family Sitting Room, featuring Christmas trees of the mid- to late-1800s. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

  • Kevin and Rachel Rose Bee's table in the Dining Room, featuring the Cratchit household on Christmas Day.

    Kevin and Rachel Rose Bee's table in the Dining Room, featuring the Cratchit household on Christmas Day. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

 
Submitted by Aurora Historical Society
Posted12/20/2019 10:50 PM

Honoring the late-Victorian period of the Tanner House Museum, the Aurora Historical Society has bestowed its holiday season "Victoria" award on two rooms this year, decorated by Michael Bryant and Kevin and Rachel Rose Bee.

The honor, given for the first time last year, recognizes rooms that capture some aspect of history especially well, according to Tanner House historian Karen Blee Nickels, who came up with the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Of course we still have the Favorite Room award," she said, referring to the balloting by visitors to the house throughout the holiday season. "Periods and themes range all over the place, and people have a lot of fun, and sometimes a lot of difficulty, choosing their favorite room. It's a big part of visiting the house."

The winner of that contest will be announced at the end of the season.

"But as a historical society, we want to point out as much history and as many traditions as we can," she added. "Mike Bryant's room, 'Christmas in the 1800s', is full of seldom-seen photos of American Christmas trees from the 1840s through the 1890s. It is fascinating to see how different they were from the symmetrical, pre-lit trees we see today," she said. Nickels also praised Kevin and Rachel Rose Bee's "Mr. Scrooge's Christmas After," which shows the Dining Room set up for dinner at the Cratchits' house after Ebenezeer Scrooge's miraculous transformation in the English classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

The awards in both categories are entirely to recognize volunteers for their creativity and hard work, Nickels said. There are no trophies or monetary rewards.

Tanner House Holidays will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, and Sundays, Dec. 22 and 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. The museum is located at 304 Oak Avenue, the corner of Oak and Cedar, in the historic Tanner District on Aurora's west side.

After Dec. 29, the house will be closed until June except for scheduled groups. Call (630) 906-0650.

More information is available online at www.aurorahistory.net or on Facebook and Instagram at aurorahistory.