Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Christmas at Boone Household Celebrated Candlelight Tours Set for Weekends

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Christmas at Boone Household Celebrated Candlelight Tours Set for Weekends

Article excerpt

Daniel Boone's career as a hunter, explorer and pioneer is legendary. Less well-known is that Boone was a dedicated family man. Boone and his wife, Rebecca, had 10 children, 70 grandchildren and 250 great-grandchildren. Boone, who died at age 87, lived to see 134 of his great-grandchildren, local historians say.

Fourteen of Boone's grandchildren were born to his youngest son, Nathan, and his wife, Olive Van Bibber Boone, in the Boone home in Defiance. The Boone family probably wouldn't have been surprised to learn their Christmases have gone down in the annals of local history.

This will be the fifth year the staff and volunteers of the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village, on Highway F near Defiance, have organized Candlelight Christmas tours of the Boone home, the Old Peace Chapel, the Old School House, the Merchant's Home and the Chair Shoppe in Boonesfield Village.

Candlelight Christmas 1800 tours are planned for 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Dec. 9 and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 10.

For the first time this year, the Boone family's holiday lifestyle will be re-created as costumed characters dramatize an early 19th century Christmas.

Actors portraying Rebecca and Daniel Boone and their family will decorate the home in dried flowers, berries, greenery and pine cones collected from the woods - true to Christmas past.

Dolls will be made of straw and pine needles. Molasses and gingerbread cookies and wassail will be available to guests. Baking methods of the era will be demonstrated using the same utensils that Rebecca Boone cooked with nearly 200 years ago.

Camping out was a necessity in 1800 because so many of the Boone relatives and visitors traveled by wagon for the holidays. Accordingly, one of the scenarios will be "Christmas on the Trail."

Daily re-enactments are planned for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Dec. 11. A different theme will be covered on each of those days. The schedule is: Dec. 3 Preparations for Christmas Dec. 4 Children's Day Dec. 5 Chair-Making Christmas Dec. 6 Open Hearth Cooking Dec. 7 Baking of Christmas Cookies Dec. 8 Open Hearth Cooking Dec. 9 Christmas on the Trail Dec. 10 Preparation for Christmas Dec. 11 Children's Day The cost for both the Candlelight Tours and the Living History Christmas is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 to 11.

According to Maggie Reifsteck, director of special events for the Daniel Boone home, the re-enactments were organized this year for the convenience of holiday visitors.

"We have such an overwhelming crowd for the candlelight tours that sometimes it's difficult for bus tours, older people, and children to get through the house and the lower valley late at night," she explained. …

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