The past is never lost- as long as it is remembered.
The Arlington Heights Historical Museum collects and preserves significant materials related to our past and shares them through educational and recreational activities that promote community heritage and pride.
Stay up do date on all the interesting things happening at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum!
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s “that time of
year again”. Christmas decorations are going up all over Arlington Heights and
the Arlington Heights Historical Museum is no different.
Here at the Museum, we have two historic houses that staff
and volunteers decorate. We don’t just throw lights up though. Research and
planning goes into decorating the interior of historic homes at the Arlington
Heights Historical Museum.
The 1906 Banta House will be fully decorated after December
15th, but the Muller House, which was built in 1882 by F.W. Muller,
is fully decorated following Victorian traditions of the time, with hints of
the Muller’s German heritage sprinkled throughout.
The Christmas tree is a tradition that the Mullers would
have followed. In Germany, evergreen trees were seen as a symbol of life
through the dark, cold winter and Christmas trees were popular there back to
the 1700s. When Prince Albert, who was German, introduced this to his wife
Queen Victoria of England in 1941, it quickly took off and became wildly
Victorian Christmas tree in the Muller House
The Victorian Christmas didn’t focus as much on the
commercialization of the Holiday as we do now, but gifts were still important. The Victorians began planning their presents
many months ahead. The most cherished
gifts were handmade, needlework, or something useful. People exchanged remembrances with family and
Greenery and ivy plants were also an important part of the
Victorian Christmas, so the Muller House was decorated with the plants as well.
Holly was believed to ward off evil spirits and ivy intertwined with the red
berries represented the two halves of the divinity.
Tours of all the A.H. Museum buildings are on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 and start at the Heritage Gallery off of Fremont St. Tours are $4 for adults, $2 for kids, BUT throughout the month of December tours are free on Sundays with the donation of a canned good that will be donated to local food pantries. Helping your community, while learning about the heritage of Arlington Heights, that's a holiday tradition worth celebrating.