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Hickory Hill candlelight tours get themes this year

Although the focus remains historical, the annual Candlelight Tours of Hickory Hill have changed to keep up with the times.

Each year, the historic home of Populist Senator Thomas E. Watson has been decorated in its traditional Edwardian holiday custom.

This year, the fully-restored Greek Revival mansion is decorated to match the New Deal exhibit currently displayed there.

"So, it'll focus a little bit more with the way that Christmas looked during the 1920s and the 1930s in the South. Because, as we are doing now, people were making more out of less," Hickory Hill curator Michelle Zupan said. "And we'll focus more on stories that have come out of the South that historians and writers have chronicled for us."

The exhibit includes a 12-foot wall mural from Screvin that was painted in 1941, along with other items related to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program of economic recovery during the Great Depression.

The exhibit corresponds with the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum for eighth graders, and the New Deal holiday tour on Friday, Dec. 12, is not recommended for children under the age of 12. Friday's tour includes a wine and cheese reception, with wine from the Tiger Mountain Vineyards in Clayton, Ga., and cheeses from the Sweetgrass Dairy in Thomasville, Ga.

"So, it's also kind of a homegrown Christmas," Ms. Zupan said.

The next night's candlelight tour will be more kid-friendly. An "American Christmas" will explore fun trivia such as why stockings are hung on the fireplace and when electric lights replaced candles on Christmas trees.

"So, we're going to have a little more fun with that, and it'll be a little more interactive for everyone," Ms. Zupan said.

The reception at Saturday's tour will be homemade gingerbread and warm cider.

Reservations are recommended as tours are limited to 30 people per tour. Call 706-595-7777 or 706-595-9777. Hickory Hill is located on Tom Watson Way in Thomson.

Web posted on Thursday, December 04, 2008

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