Tinker Swiss celebrates ‘Christmas Past’

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum will be filled with the sights and sounds of “Christmas Past” Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, from noon to 5 p.m. both days.

Historic Tinker Swiss Cottage will be dressed for a Victorian Christmas, adorned with crimson bows and pine garlands. Inside the Cottage, visitors will delight in touring 18 rooms lavishly decorated with a variety of Christmas trees, some featuring authentic turn-of-the-century ornaments from the Tinker family. Discover what the family’s unusual choice for a tree was in 1917. During the event, families can make Victorian scrap ornaments to take home. Everyone is invited to enjoy hot cider, homemade cookies, and musical entertainment in the Tinker Visitors Center. Saturday will feature guitar music. Sunday, hear piano and hammered dulcimer tunes. Admission to the event is just $6 for adults. Children get in free.

The Cottage is also part of Rockford’s Heritage Holiday tour Dec. 2-3 from noon to 5 p.m. For $16 per adult, a joint ticket is available and allows admission to four of southwest Rockford’s museums. Children are admitted free. Ticket holders can visit Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum (411 Kent St.); the Graham Ginestra House (1115 S. Main St.); the Ethnic Heritage Museum (1129 S. Main St.); and the Erlander Home Museum throughout the two-day event. A horse-drawn wagon will carry visitors between the sites. Rides are free for all joint ticket holders; others may ride for $1. The joint tickets are available for purchase at all participating sites. They will also be available at the door.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, built in 1865 by local businessman Robert H. Tinker, is at 411 Kent St. near downtown Rockford. Tinker was inspired to build his unique house after a nine-month tour of Europe in 1862. For more information, call the Museum at 964-2424 or visit www.tinkercottage.com.

From the Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2006, issue

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