Historic Christmas at Hallockville Holiday Traditions from North Fork’s Past

Hallockville Museum Farm invites visitors to experience old-fashioned North Fork holiday traditions during the Historic Christmas at Hallockville event on Sunday, December 4 from noon to 3:30 p.m. Holiday displays in three historic residences on the 28-acre preserved farm will be staffed by costumed docents welcoming guests and sharing stories of past holiday celebrations. Historic Christmas at Hallockville is free and open to the public as the Museum Farm’s holiday gift to the community.
The Hallock Homestead, a mid-eighteenth-century structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Visitors may tour the residence while enjoying the aromas of holiday treats being baked in an antique wood stove as they learn how Christmas came to the North Fork primarily as a secular celebration.
“Centuries ago, the Hallock family and other North Fork settlers were Puritans, who associated Christmas celebrations with paganism and therefore, such festivities were banned,” said Richard Wines, a Hallockville Museum Farm board member and a curator for the Historic Christmas at Hallockville exhibit. “By the mid-eighteenth-century customs began to change and in 1870, Christmas became a federal holiday, making way for the supposedly traditional celebrations we know today.”
At the Cichanowicz Farmhouse guests will enjoy a Christmas Eve celebration as it would have been experienced by Polish immigrants to the North Fork in the 1930s when the house was built. In Polish culture, Christmas Eve is a major holiday, highlighted by a special dinner, gift-giving and other traditions.
The Hudson-Sydlowski House will feature a display of dollhouses from the museum’s collection decked-out for the holidays. The exhibit will also include a two Victorian dollhouses loaned by Bonnie Zulli as well as a Christmas dollhouse, a miniature farmstand and several room vitrines loaned by Jeff Hallock and Debbie Bowen created by their parents, Norman and Joan Hallock.  After Norman retired from carpentry in the 1980s, he and Joan opened the Cozy Corner Collectibles shop in Jamesport – much beloved by miniature enthusiasts for their handcrafted dollhouses and vignettes.
In addition to the Sunday, December 4 open house, the dollhouse exhibit will be open for viewing Friday, November 25 through Sunday, November 27 from noon to 3 p.m. The Hudson-Sydlowski house is also home to Hallockville’s Gift Shop, where visitors may browse for unique handmade items.
“We are happy to welcome visitors and share our rich history and the cultural holiday traditions of the North Fork,” said Roberta Shoten, Hallockville Museum Farm executive director.
About Hallockville Museum Farm
Hallockville Museum Farm is dedicated to taking Long Island back to its family farming roots and exploring their relevance today. Hallockville, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with 28-acres of preserved farmland, three historic farmsteads and numerous period agricultural outbuildings. For additional information about Hallockville Museum Farm please visit: www.hallockville.org

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