Christmas at the Larson House Museum

Larson House Museum facilities coordinator Jane Licht and McFarland Historical Society President Dale Marsden stand in the formal dining room at the Larson House Museum. Behind Licht is a music-themed Christmas tree to celebrate the Larsons’ love of music. Hanging above the table is a classic English decoration to celebrate the English heritage of the house’s Victorian style.

The Larson House Museum, 6003 Exchange St., celebrates Christmas each year by decorating nearly every room in the historical McFarland landmark.

The museum hosts open houses from 1-4 p.m. each Sunday in December. Visitors will get a tour of the house and learn about its artifacts and history.

“Not only do they get to see the Larson House and get to learn about the history and local history, they get to see the decorations, too,” Larson House Museum facilities coordinator Jane Licht said.

Seven Christmas trees are placed throughout the house, each with a specific theme.

A traditional tree with rainbow-color bulbs topped with a handmade star and featuring antique and handmade ornaments is in the living room. The tree is similar to what the Larson family would have decorated with in the 1920s.

A tree in the Lokken bedroom is decorated with traditional Norwegian decorations of fake fruit rolled in sugar to celebrate the Larson family’s Norwegian heritage. Another tree in the master bedroom is decorated with peacock feathers and colors, an English decoration theme to celebrate the Queen Anne Victorian style of the house that was popular when it was built in 1898. A music-themed tree stands in the parlor, representing the importance of music in the Larsons’ lives.

“Every room except for the dining room and the bathroom and the pantry have a tree,” Licht said.

Other trees include an angel tree for the Larson family’s commitment to the Lutheran Church, a children’s tree in the bedroom of the room where John Larson’s youngest sons lived and a partridge in a pear tree as a fun reference to the classic Christmas song.

Other decorations pay homage to the history and culture of the Larson House Museum, such as a wreath hanging over the dining room table, a popular English decoration.

A crew of volunteers move trees and boxes right after Thanksgiving and carefully place each ornament by hand.

When trees reach the end of their life, new trees are purchased with proceeds from gift baskets and then decorated with donated items. Members scour thrift stores and garage sales throughout the year on the lookout for new décor.

“It’s such a beautiful house. We have to do it,” McFarland Historical Society President Dale Marsden said about the tours to showcase decorations.

Tours resume in the summer between Memorial Day and September, but those who would like a tour at other times can contact a board member for a private tour.

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