The Museum of the Cape Fear’s Holiday Jubilee brings sleigh rides and the smell of pine needles to the forefront. The celebration is held outside the 1897 Poe house on Dec. 14, from 1 - 5 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to experience Christmas as visitors to a bygone era — the 1800s. The Poe House will be decorated elaborately for visitors to catch a glimpse of what a Victorian-era Christmas in North Carolina looked like. Onlookers can enjoy caroling, too. Between performances the Poe house will be open for tours.
Caroling was a significant part of the Christmas season in the Victorian period. The Poe children all took music lessons. Singing and playing instruments was for education as well as entertainment. Most likely, the Poe children participated in caroling, or at the very least, the family enjoyed listening to carolers on their doorstep.
Gingerbread and Christmas pudding will be available to try fresh from the oven in the Poe House kitchen. The items made out of the kitchen will be from historic recipes.
Modern day cookies and hot cider will be served on the back porch.
The Jubilee is an annual event that showcases the Coventry Carolers, a group of six vocalists that will perform Christmas classics such as “Oh Holy Night,” “The First Noel,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.”
The group dresses in old-fashioned attire to carry out the customary look of carolers.
Megan Maxwell, the Poe House education coordinator, said, “Caroling is a way to share the message of Christmas with friends and neighbors and to inspire others to be excited about the season”.
Caroling is a long-time Christmas tradition that is here to stay. Traditionally, caroling was not only used for a time of holiday spirit but also as a practice in rejoicing the seasonal changes. Now, anyone can turn on the radio and listen to Christmas music, but it’s not the same as hearing a live performance.
“I think the most enjoyable part of the event is seeing the joy that the music and decorations bring to our visitors. It definitely puts everyone in the Christmas spirit,” said Maxwell.
This experience is not only fun for the season, but is also eye-opening. While exploring the grounds of the 1897 Poe House, anyone can experience a piece of history and get an understanding of how times have changed.
Bringing friends and family to the Poe House will not only show what time can do. It might make them a little more grateful for the electronics sitting under the Christmas tree this year.
“I think the most interesting part of the Poe House is definitely the beautiful woodwork and architectural details. You don’t see woodwork like that in modern houses any more, said Maxwell. “The Christmas decorations in the dining room include a beautiful ribbon lattice ceiling treatment accented with magnolia and holly. That is always an awe-inspiring sight.”
The Jubilee is an annual event sponsored by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation, Inc. The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is a museum that brings light to the cultural history of the sandhills of North Carolina. The museum includes three critical parts — Arsenal Park, the 1897 Poe house and the main history museum.
The history museum includes different exhibits such as the history of Fayetteville during the American civil war, Native American, transportation, European settlers and slavery.
The Poe house is open for tours Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Tours of the house are free.
Photos: Enjoy an afternoon of caroling and old-fashioned Christmas cheer at the Poe House.