2005 WINTER SEASON

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

For decorating inspiration and a healthy dose of holiday cheer, there's nothing like a visit to a beautiful historic home lavishly adorned for the season. Half a dozen prize homes beckon in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut, a region where almost every vintage village green could adorn a Christmas card. Osborne Homestead: Decorations from Around the World One of the first homes to open for the season is the Osborne Homestead Museum (203-734-2513) in Derby, adjacent to the Osbornedale State Park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the gracious home of the late Francis Osborne Kellogg was originally constructed in the mid-1800s and was enlarged during the 1920s. The recently renovated interior displays much of the original contents of the estate, including antiques and fine art. Area garden clubs traditionally decorate all the rooms in holiday finery; this year each room will feature winter holiday celebrations from a different country. Guided tours, will take place Thursday through Sunday, November 25 to December 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The house is even more magical lit for twilight tours held on Fridays, December 2, 9 and 16 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Keeler Tavern: Holiday Tours and Luncheons In Ridgefield, the Keeler Tavern Museum (203-438-5485) will be aglow with holiday decor all through December. Costumed guides lead tours through the handsomely decorated home every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., telling guests of the building's rich history. Noted architect Cass Gilbert, whose work included New York's Woolworth Building and Washington's Supreme Court building, bought the historic tavern and transformed it into his summer home in1907. An annual Keeler Tavern holiday treat is the schedule of Christmas Luncheons held in the elegant Garden House designed by Gilbert. The popular luncheons will be held twice daily from Tuesday, December 6 to Friday, December 9, and at three seatings on Saturday, December 10. A Holiday Boutique will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the days lunches are scheduled. Hotchkiss-Fyler House: Victorian Splendor Victorian-era garlands of greenery, wreaths, floral arrangements, red bows, glass mansion during the annual Christmas Open House at the Hotchkiss-Fyler House (860-482-8260). Several lavish trees will be on display throughout the house, with a display of antique toys gathered beneath the boughs in the parlor. The dining room table will be set for Christmas dinner with the exquisite linens, china, crystal and silverware that belonged to the late owner of the house, Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss. Hostesses will be on hand to point out the finery during the Open House dates, Saturday, December 10th through Friday, December 30th. The house is open Tues.-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. from 12 noon - 4 p.m. Festival Open Houses: Woodbury and Bethlehem More historic homes dressed in their holiday best can be visited during the holiday festivals held in two particularly lovely towns of the region. In Woodbury, the 21st Annual Christmas Festival will offer Saturday tours at two exceptional historic homes, the Glebe House (203-2632855) and Hurd House. The festival takes place Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A special exhibit of Christmas past and present will be seen at Bethlehem's Bellamy-Ferriday House (203- 266-7596) during the town's 25th annual Christmas Town Festival, Friday night December 2 and Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Humphreys House: Twelfth Night celebration Just when it seems the festivities are all over, the Humphreys House (203-735-1908) in Ansonia will keep the holiday spirit alive with its seventh annual Twelfth Night celebration from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 8. The house is the birthplace of David Humphreys, a Revolutionary War officer and friend of George Washington. Visitors are invited to tour the home, restored to its mid eighteenth century appearance and bedecked with greenery, as well as to enjoy live music and to talk with re-enactors portraying real local residents from 1805. For more information on Litchfield Hills holiday happenings and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.