Christmas history featured at Beckman Mill County Park event

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Monday, December 2, 2013

TOWN OF NEWARK—The Friends of Beckman Mill hope to connect with a new generation of visitors by bringing a much older generation to life.

On the first two Saturdays in December, the friends are sponsoring A Victorian Holiday at the Beckman Mill County Park.

“We're looking to bring out a new generation to the mill,” said Lauren Thomas, volunteer coordinator. “We want to make it the family place to go.”

Usually, the Friends don't host events in the winter.

“We need water to work the grinder in the mill, and in the winter the water is frozen,” Thomas said.

The event will feature activities for children including decorating gingerbread cookies, creating Victorian “crackers”—paper toys that held little prizes—caroling and historical demonstrations.

Both adults and kids will have the chance to learn about Victorian holiday activities, games and holiday decorating as they tour the mill buildings by candlelight.

For Civil War buffs, the event will feature a School of the Soldier.

On Dec. 14, a historic re-enactor will play Margaret Cummins, the head housekeeper at Balmoral Castle during the reign of Queen Victoria. She'll talk about getting ready for a visit from the royal family.

Lisa Karr Photography will be offering special rates for holiday photos in Beckman's historic setting.

Although all the mill buildings are heated, and there will be a bonfire outdoors, visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.

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