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. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run

    Blogs

    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by …

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  3. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game

    Blogs

    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  4. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame

    Blogs

    For Dave Andreychuk, the wait is finally over.

    Dave Andreychuk helped lead the Lightning to its only Stanley Cup in 2004.
  5. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers

    Blogs

    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.