You can step back in time to the year 1850 during Christmas at the Blandwood Mansion. To many it's still is one of the most beautiful homes in Greensboro. And that's where you'll find our home expert Tom Garcia this Saturday. Anderson Rouse is a tour guide at Blandwood and their first room in the mansion tour is the entry decorated with poinsettia flowers. At the time, getting poinsettia flowers from Mexico to Greensboro was a huge event. Mostly, it had to happen by wagon. The flower pedals were thought to look like the star of Bethlehem and so were displayed at Christmas.
Home expert Tom Garcia is in the east parlor of Blandwood Mansion. This room was known as the music room and would have been a prominent place at Christmas. Anderson Rouse is a tour guide at Blandwood and joins us this morning. Anderson tells us that Christmas carols were a very American creation and would have been played in this room. Songs such as Away In A Manger were introduced at the time and would have been sung in this room.
Next is the west parlor room where guest were received and it would have been fully decorated for Christmas. The one thing we don’t see in this room is a Christmas Tree. That is because trees would not show up for another several decades. Instead, the decoration of choice was fresh fruit such as these lemons. Lemons would have had to come from Florida or the Caribbean and so displaying them was a tremendous effort. They are mixed in with local evergreens to create a beautiful table top display.
Home expert Tom Garcia in the dining room and as we saw in the front parlor, fresh fruit is on display. Being able to display fresh fruit in the month of December was a sign of wealth. Anderson tells us that goose would have been served for the Christmas meal.
Last room on the tour of Blandwood Mansion is the children’s bedroom. Christmas morning was very much like it is today. The children would have arose as early as they could to open their gifts. These are some great examples of gifts of the time. Train were just coming into use and so this train set would have been a very popular gift. Other gifts include board games, the wooden ring, writing tablets and more.