Road Trippin' : Victorian Christmas
JACKSONVILLE, Ore. —
The town of Jacksonville comes alive during the holidays as it transforms into its Victorian Christmas. There are street performers and tours of historic buildings like the Beekman Bank. It’s bursting with stories and history.
“This is a museum, it's the oldest financial institution in the Pacific Northwest. It's been preserved just as Mr. Beekman left it when he locked the doors back in 1915,” Carolyn Kingsworth says. Kingsworth is the president of Historic Jacksonville. She says it’s her job to make sure visitors take in all the history the town has to offer.
Victorian Christmas has been going on for more than 40 years.
“It's a way Jacksonville can not only celebrate the holiday season, but also celebrate our heritage and remember back when Jacksonville was the booming town after the gold rush period when there was a thriving community here,” Tim Balfour says.
Balfour is with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. He says on the weekends, visitors can take in the town, take a trolley ride, a horse drawn wagon ride, see Father Christmas or tour the Beekman Bank or Beekman House.
“It's not just a tour of the home, but they explain the Victorian Christmas traditions where they come from and why they're important to us,” Balfour says.
“History is the story of people and their places and how they lived. So many people come to Jacksonville for the history but when they get here they just see a bunch of old buildings with names and dates on them. By bringing them to life, we can share the history and make it relevant and make it accessible,” Balfour says.
They both say it’s about making memories.
“When we have the historic buildings dressed up in the fresh cedar garland and the red bows and the white lights, it's such a beautiful, picturesque experience and people remember that. They bring their kids here and then they bring their grandkids here,” Balfour says.
Jacksonville’s Victorian Christmas is happening on the weekends, tours of the Beekman House are Saturday and Sunday from 11-3.
On Boxing Day, December 26th, all Victorian Christmas tours of Beekman House will be $2 with a canned food donation for Access. If visitors pay full entry that day, the entire fee will be donated to Access. All funds raised throughout Victorian Christmas go back to maintaining the historic buildings within the city.