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Historic Odessa: Holiday Candlelight Tour & Odessa Country Christmas through December 30, 2021

By Antique Homes Magazine Staff Share:

Odessa, Delaware

Historic Odessa is open to the public now through December, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM and Sunday 1 PM – 4:30 PM, Monday by reservation.

Historic Odessa is closed January and February, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Holiday Candlelight Tour

December 7, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 9, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 14, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 16, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 21, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 28, 2021, 6:00 pm, December 30, 2021, 6:00 pm

You are invited to step back in time through the doors of the Historic Odessa Foundation and explore the Christmas traditions of yesteryear! Participants experience a special candlelight tour of our 2021 holiday exhibit.

Fun, food, and camaraderie for friends or an evening out the entire family can enjoy!

Tours leave from the Visitor’s Center. $15 per person includes a beverage ticket redeemable at Cantwell’s Tavern*.

Holiday Candlelight Tour Hosted by Associate Curator December 23, 2021

Thursday, December 23, 2021 – 5:00pm

Get into the Christmas spirit by attending a special evening candlelight guided tour offered by the curator of the Christmas exhibit, Little Women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy at the National Historic Register, Wilson-Warner House, c. 1769.

Rediscover the beloved 1868 children’s novel by Louisa May Alcott while learning about the inspiration and process behind the furnishings and decorations for each room vignette.

This event is perfectly suited for the entire family!  Come celebrate the museum’s 33rd anniversary of literature-themed holiday exhibits with this newly created exhibit that was first produced by the museum back in 1991!

Tours leave from the Visitor’s Center.

Exhibit: Little Women Or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy

Now through Friday, December 31, 2021, 10:00 am – 4:30pm

This holiday season don’t miss the return of the Historic Odessa Foundation’s renowned annual Christmas tradition of transforming a historic house into an exhibition of classic children’s literature. 

The National Historic Register Wilson-Warner House becomes marvelously adapted into scenes based upon the beloved autobiographical coming-of-age novel, Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy written by the American novelist Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) and first published before Christmas in 1868.  Be enchanted with old-fashioned room vignettes to include those of the March sisters’ Christmas parlor, festive dining room and well-appointed bed chamber.  Restore your spirit this Christmas season by touring this unforgettable holiday exhibition at the Historic Odessa Foundation.

Cover illustration:  Godey’s Lady’s Book

2021 Odessa Country Christmas

Now through December 30, 2021 4:30PM

Stroll or drive through the historic area for enchanted evenings of winter lights at the Historic Odessa Foundation

The holidays are coming and the Historic Odessa Foundation is bringing seasonal sparkle to the 18th-century hamlet of Odessa, Delaware! We invite you to stroll or drive through the historic center of town gathering inspiration for your most beautiful family celebrations to date. Our winter lights are sure to enchant even the most stubborn Scrooge. 

As dusk falls the National Historic Landmark Corbit-Sharp House, c.1774, along with the Foundation’s other Nationally Registered properties, will transport in a glow of white light to the seasonal festivities of yesteryear. Enjoy the crisp winter outdoors with family while social distancing and experience the Historic Houses of Odessa like you have never seen them before. This marks the first time ever that the museum houses are decorated with light. Evergreens laden with pinecones, holly, and winterberry, along with welcoming wreaths deck doors, windows, and lamp posts sending our message of hope and goodwill for a joyous, healthy, and happy Yuletide season.  

Outdoor candlelight walking tours are offered through December at 5:30 pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings by reservation.  Tours begin at the fire-pit in front of the Stone Barn, c.1812, located behind the National Historic Register Wilson Warner House, c.1769.  This tour, due to COVID-19 pandemic, supplants the 34-year-old Christmas tradition of interior house tours that interpreted classic children’s literature.  Guests will learn about family history, architectural history, and local history on a leisurely walk around some of the most stunning and architecturally significant buildings in the State of Delaware.

Walking tour $15 per person includes a beverage ticket redeemable at Cantwell’s Tavern.

Our History at Home activities offer teachers, parents and students a chance to learn about history independently:

Welcome to the tranquil village of Odessa, in colonial times, a busy grain shipping port known as Cantwell’s Bridge. Stroll its tree-lined streets. Tour the beautifully restored 18th and 19th-century houses. Wander through picturesque gardens. Dine at the historic Cantwell’s Tavern, welcoming guests just as it did nearly 200 years ago.

Feel free to explore our five buildings, nearly 30 acres of surrounding landscape, outbuildings and gardens. Don’t miss an outstanding collection of household furnishings, fine and decorative arts. Many pieces of original family furniture made by prominent Delaware cabinetmakers of the 18th century; the collections include major works of regional paintings, prints, textiles, silver, pewter, and other metals. The Foundation’s collection is steeped in Delaware history and rich in the finest examples of mid-Atlantic craftsmanship.

Tour Delaware history

Enjoy tours that bring the 18th-century village of Odessa to life all year long and a rich array of programs for individuals and families.

~Lectures, workshops, object identification clinics

~18th-century hearth-cooking demonstrations

~Annual events, including the Easter Egg Hunt and Odessa Brewfest

~December Holiday Tour, featuring a new theme each year and candlelight evenings

Historic Delaware: Tour Period Homes

Properties managed by the organization include the 1769 Wilson-Warner House, 1700 Collins-Sharp House, 1822 Cantwell’s Tavern, and 1853 Odessa Bank.

Tours are given from March through December.

Grounds and Gardens:

Link to the newly designed website:

Image Credits: unless otherwise noted

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