Glenn House will continue holiday tours this weekend

Monday, December 23, 2002

An authentic Victorian-era Christmas is brought to life this holiday season at Cape Girardeau's historical Glenn House, at 325 S. Spanish St.

Christmas greenery, twinkling lights and colorful bows greet visitors as they enter the turn-of-the-century, two-story white house. An 8-foot Christmas tree in the parlor is decorated with white and gold ornaments, tinsel and brown pine cones. Poinsettias and a blue and silver Christmas tree adorn the home's formal parlor. Christmas stockings hang from an ornate fireplace in the study, and strands of holly run along the mantle.

Since the beginning of December, the Glenn House has given Christmas tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The tours will continue through this weekend.

"The Glenn House is great for people to visit any time of the year, but Christmas is always special," said Debbie Bibb, executive director of Glenn House. "It's another way of celebrating the season and also a wonderful opportunity for families to see what life was like during another time."

Bibb said this year they tried not to decorate the house as it has been during past Christmases.

"We just let our imaginations guide the way we thought it should look," Bibb said.

Bibb said her favorite Christmas decorations are in the children's room on the second floor. The room is filled with Victorian-era toys, but for the holiday season a miniature tree decorated with colorful lollipops, strands of hard candy and antique ornaments has been added.

"It really speaks to what Christmas really is -- a time for kids," Bibb said.

In the guest bedroom, dubbed the "boat room" for its contents portraying life on the Mississippi River, a miniature Christmas tree is decked in a nautical theme with lighthouses and American flags.

The Glenn House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was donated to and restored by The Historical Association of Greater Cape Girardeau during the 1970s.

In recent years, a faulty roof and drainage system have led to extensive water damage to the house's porch and second floor.

Earlier this year, the historical association began a campaign to raise money for the repairs, which were estimated at $70,000. According to Bibb, the roof and drainage system were replaced over the summer, but there are still repairs that need to be made.

Bibb said the historical association's next project is repairing the front porch. The repairs will cost around $35,000, and the association is currently discussing ways to raise that money.

335-6611, extension 128

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