The William Root House Museum will host its fifth annual Candlelight Night on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Marietta.
Photo: Cobb Landmarks
Photo: Cobb Landmarks

Cobb museum showcases Christmas traditions during 1850s

The William Root House Museum in Marietta will host an event designed to enlighten its guests on the Christmas traditions a family would enjoy in the 1850s.

The museum’s fifth annual Candlelight Night will be held 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at the museum at 80 North Marietta Parkway. 

The Root House will be adorned in traditional 1850s Christmas decorations. Visitors will enjoy candlelit rooms, cooking demonstrations, live music, hot cider and cookies and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus from 6-8 p.m.

According to Cobb Landmarks, the nonprofit organization that operates the museum, Christmas became a legal holiday in Georgia in the 1850s. 

Residents would have used evergreen branches to decorate mirrors, mantles, doorways and tables. Evergreens, the nonprofit added, were thought to represent “everlasting life.” 

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“Many believe the tradition of displaying a Christmas tree was brought to America from England via Prince Albert,” Cobb Landmarks said. “While Prince Albert and Queen Victoria made the Christmas tree more popular, references to Christmas trees (and New Year's trees) could be found in American literature well before Prince Albert's arrival in England.”

Christmas trees, which were decorated behind closed doors, were decked out with fruit, candles and unwrapped toys. The trees were revealed as a surprise to children since the gifts were placed on the tree. 

The cost to attend the Dec. 14 event is included with the cost of admission. For more information, visit the museum’s website or call 770-426-4982.

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