Doors to five distinct Quogue homes will be opened to the public for the Quogue Historical Society's first ever Holiday House Tour, scheduled for Saturday, December 18. BRANDI BUCHMAN
The Quogue Historical Society will host its first ever Holiday House Tour on Saturday, December 18. Five distinct homes in Quogue will be featured. BRANDI BUCHMAN
A shingled Quogue home, with roots as far back as 1730, is decorated in traditional Christmas regalia in time for the Quogue Historical Society's first-ever Holiday House Tour scheduled for Saturday, December 18. BRANDI BUCHMAN
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer makes an appeareance atop the dining room table at a Quogue home which will be featured in the Quogue Historical Society's first ever Holiday House Tour to be held on Saturday, December 18. BRANDI BUCHMAN
Nestled behind a long white fence and located on a sweeping swath of land in Quogue sits one of the five homes that will be featured in the inaugural “Quogue Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour.”
The tour, which is planned for Saturday, December 18, will feature the simple elegance of celebrating the holiday season while highlighting classic, traditional Christmas décor.
Each of the homes on the tour has a long and storied history, according to Quogue Historical Society Chairwoman Lee Wadleton. Some have weathered centuries along the Quogue Canal, their exteriors consistently restored and kept in the best possible condition to combat salty sea air and years of wind erosion. And according to the Quogue Historical Society newsletter, written in part by Ms. Wadleton, one of the homes even played host to a group of British officers who found shelter there during a harsh winter amidst the chaos of the Revolutionary War. Yet another estate boasts a seamless transition from a turn-of-the-century 1,200-square-foot American farmhouse to a meticulously preserved expansive home of 2,800 square feet.
Though the histories of the homes will most likely serve as primary draws for visitors, it’s the design concepts put into play that have generated much of the preliminary excitement among society members.
“Ours is not just a historic tour, but one that features the beauty of a traditional Christmas in a historic setting,” said Ms. Wadleton during a walkthrough of one of the homes last week.
Quogue Historical Society Director Donna Sessa noted that for her, design inspiration came from several sources. Aside from reflecting on adornments used so many years ago, inspiration was also drawn from her own holiday trips to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and Tulip Hill, a Maryland plantation house built in 1755.
“Some methods used in earlier centuries and surely in homes such as those, was to use items such as fresh fruit to adorn a wreath or table setting, as it was really one of the few items available at the time,” she said.
At one of the homes on the tour, atop the mantel of a Georgian-style fireplace (which is also composed of parts more than 100 years old), a long deep green garland is bedecked with faux sugar plums, burnt orange apricots and pearls of bright red holly. To implement the theme of natural elements a step further, there will also be an emphasis on fresh flowers at that home.
A well-known winter favorite, poinsettias, will fill one of the homes, and at another, Ms. Sessa said, plans are underway to incorporate red roses and aromatic cedar, adding a contemporary edge to the overall design.
When it comes to holiday decorating, Ms. Sessa pointed out that slightly more modern touches—twinkling bright lights woven into the folds of cream tapestry or glittering red and white candy cane ornaments hung from an old-fashioned wrought iron candelabra—blend comfortably with more antiquated touches—such as lit tapered candles sitting on windowsills or snow made of soft, thick cotton sitting atop unique pieces of heirloom furniture.
Even though some of the décor harkens back to a bygone era and the emphasis remains on celebrating classic Christmas trappings, the overall purpose behind the society’s inaugural tour was summed up best by Ms. Wadleton.
“We want to create a new holiday tradition in Quogue that is fun and generates early excitement about our new home,” she said.
The Quogue Historical Society’s new home at 114 Jessup Avenue will open next year and will contain a variety of artifacts and irreplaceable documents about the village. The new headquarters will also serve as a center for residents to research Quogue’s rich history.
Proceeds from the house tour will go toward installing high-tech resources and updated exhibits.
The tour will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 18, and continue through 6 p.m. Following the tour, from 6 to 8 p.m., a wine reception will be held at the private Quogue residence of the Demirjian family. Tour attendees will also enjoy homemade cookies at each stop, courtesy of the Lily Pad Consignment and Gift Store and warm cider, provided by the Quogue Country Market. House tour tickets are $50 per person and tickets to the tour and wine reception are $75 per person. Tickets will be available on the day of the event from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Quogue Library. For additional information, call 653-4224.
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