Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safford House hosts Victorian Christmas three nights

TARPON SPRINGS

On Wednesday, Bruce Miller was looking dapper playing his role of Anson P.K. Safford, one of the founders of Tarpon Springs.

He greeted guests at the front door wearing a black cutaway coat, striped trousers, a white shirt and ascotlike tie.

Mistletoe hung in the doorway. "It's called a kissing ball," he said.

To the left was an 8-foot Christmas tree adorned with old-fashioned ornaments and candles.

"They won't be lit; it's just to show the tradition. Back then, they would have a bucket of water or sand nearby just in case of a fire," he said.

One can almost smell the plum pudding and hear the laughter of children as you enter the Safford House Museum, a wonderful display of late 19th century Florida vernacular architecture and furnishings, now dressed up for its seventh annual Victorian Christmas.

Normally, the museum is open only Wednesdays and Fridays, but special holiday hours take place tonight through Sunday so visitors can learn what the holidays and life in general were like 100 years ago.

The home was built in 1883 as a one-story, four-gable unpainted dogtrot house. It was constructed of virgin pine from the local sawmill.

Safford was territorial governor of Arizona and moved to Tarpon Springs to help develop the area.

At a little less than 1,000 square feet, the original home was considered too small by Safford and his family so they removed the roof and added the second floor. It was said to have the first flushing toilet in town.

It features a parlor, two offices, a large dining room and wrap-around covered porches on both stories.

Safford's sister, Mary Jane Safford, was the first physician to practice in the area. Both Safford and his sister died in 1891, a week apart. His much younger wife, Soledad, lived until 1931.

In 1975, the home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1994, it was acquired by the city of Tarpon Springs and has undergone extensive renovation to bring it back to its former grandeur, circa 1891. Today the city operates it as a museum.

Tickets include live holiday music with period instruments, carolers, refreshments and a visit from Santa, who will have gifts for the little ones.

Not everything is of yesteryear, though.

You can have a free digital picture of your family taken with Santa. It will be sent to you by e-mail. A holiday gift shop will be open, too.

If you go

When: Tonight through Sunday, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: 23 Parkin Court, just off Grand Boulevard in Tarpon Springs.

Tickets: $10 adults; $6 members and children; free for those 3 and under with an adult. Buy tickets at the door, online at tarponarts.com, or by phone at (727) 942-5605.

Information: Call (727) 937-1130.

Safford House hosts Victorian Christmas three nights 12/10/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida: White man who killed black person to be executed

    State Roundup

    GAINESVILLE — For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with help of a drug that has never been used previously in any U.S. execution.

    This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Mark Asay. If his final appeals are denied, Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.  [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]
  2. Ex-TPD sergeant LaJoyce Houston takes plea deal in stolen tax refund case

    Criminal

    TAMPA — LaJoyce Houston, a former Tampa police sergeant accused with her husband in a federal tax refund fraud scheme, has agreed to plead guilty to receiving stolen government property, court records state.

    Former Tampa police officers Eric and LaJoyce Houston walk into the Sam Gibbons U.S. District Courthouse on Oct. 28, 2015, to face charges relating to stolen identity tax refund fraud. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES
 ]
  3. Deputies: Vet who practices in Gulfport, Port Richey abused animals at Lakeland home

    Crime

    LAKELAND – A veterinarian who practices part-time in Gulfport and Port Richey was arrested Tuesday along with her husband after Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies found more than 30 severely …

    Veterinarian Gail Nichols, 66, (above) who practices in Gulfport and Port Richey, was arrested Tuesday along with her husband Paul Smith, 74, after Polk County deputies found more than 30 severely abused animals at their Lakeland home. The two are each facing several counts of felony animal cruelty, among other charges, after at least 38 horses, birds and dogs were found at 3211 West Bella Vista Street in dire states and in filthy, unlivable conditions. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  5. Steve Kornell says small fix can help St. Pete's sewage problems

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG— Steve Kornell knows his idea won't put much of a dent in the $326 million bill the city must pay over the next five years to fix its inadequate and outdated sewer system.

    St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell (right) during a 2012 council meeting at City Hall. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]