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Octagon House opens for holiday tour season

The Octagon House Museum begins its holiday tour season and will be open on weekends in December. Submitted photo

The Octagon House Museum will begin the holiday tour season with walk-in tours in December on the weekends.

Tour hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours start on the hour with the last tour starting at 3 p.m.

This winter the 2018 winter theme "A Quarantined Christmas" will highlight holiday events that occurred 100 years ago here in Hudson, across Wisconsin, throughout the nation, and even the world. The holiday season of 1918 was not celebrated out in public among friends and neighbors. Instead families were ordered behind closed doors by state and local officials. Away from public celebrations, households enjoyed a more personal time at home for the holidays. The Octagon House Museum will focus on the flu pandemic of 1918, the so-called Spanish Flu. There will be discussion of the pandemic and how it was dealt with by both the public and public officials. The Octagon House Museum will be decorated for the Christmas holiday with winter tours offering historic interpretation of global events that touched the lives of local families during the holiday season 100 years ago.

Holiday events

• The Museum will open for its annual Victorian Christmas Night on Friday, Dec. 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. This unique evening tour is an opportunity to see the Museum in its holiday splendor by the glow of lamplight. Harp music will be provided by Peggy Stern, a direct descendant of the Moffat family. We are delighted to have the Phipps Inn join us again this year to offer a tour of the first floor of the elegantly decorated bed and breakfast. Guests can tour both of these historic houses during this special tour. Refreshments will be served in the Gift Shop. Tickets are available at the door, admission is $10 for adults, $3 for students, and under 5 free.

• New Holiday Tea and Tour: The Historical Society is introducing a new event this year; a Holiday Tea and Tour on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 1-3 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the Octagon House Museum, all decked out for Christmas, at 1004 Third St., followed by tea and scones at the elegant Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast at 1005 Third St. Historical Society volunteers will give a presentation on the essentials of a proper Victorian tea. A selection of teas will be presented by Urban Olive and Vine, and an assortment of scones from The Cakery will be served with clotted cream and jams. Cost for the Holiday Tea and Tour is $25 per person or $20 for St. Croix County Historical Society members. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Reserve your seat by contacting the Octagon House Museum at 715-386-2654 or Octagon@StCroixCountyHistory.org.

The Museum is also open by appointment on weekdays for special groups tours of ten or more people. Please call to schedule your group tour at 715-386-2654.

The Octagon House Museum Gift Shop is open to the public during regular tour hours and has been restocked for Christmas with vintage inspired gifts, jewelry, antique silver, glassware, linens and holiday ornaments. Historical Society members please remember to take advantage of your 10 percent discount in the Museum Gift Shop.

For more information, call the museum at 715-386-2654 or visit twww.StCroixCountyHistory.org.