By Sophia Ricco
Travel back into history this holiday season by venturing on Huntington Historical Society’s annual Historical Holiday House Tour.
This community tradition tells the stories of some of Huntington’s historic homes that are decorated for the season and open to visitors.
The Historical Society has been organizing such tours since its beginnings in 1903. Following a hiatus, the tradition was revived in 2005, making this the Society’s annual tour.
“My family and I look forward to this tour every year,” Rachel Landon of Smithtown said. “It has become part of our holiday tradition as a family. It kicks off the holiday season.”
Participants in the self-guided tour receive a booklet with a map to guide them on their journey around the town of Huntington, and a short history of the homes they will visit.
Five holiday historic homes will be featured, as will the society’s 1795 Kissam House. There, visitors can take in the Poetry in Thread exhibit, and browse the Antiques and Collectibles Shop, fully stocked with holiday gifts. The 1750 Conklin Farmhouse will have a delicious buffet spread.
“Our Holiday Historic House Tour offers a chance for attendees to celebrate the holiday season and highlight the wealth of important history and beautiful homes we have in the Town of Huntington,” Historical Society Executive Director Tracy Pfaff said.
Every house on the tour holds a historical value that will be explained by volunteer docents. The Society’s committee researches to find homes with a unique past.
“Something really special that we do is have a volunteer posted in not only every home, but in nearly every room,” Pfaff said. “Telling the story of the house and the people who lived there is a very important part of our tour.”
As Pat Ernst, a tour committee member describes, it is “a lesson in history dressed up for the holidays.” Each docent will detail the evolution of the home, the impacts the people who had lived there made in Huntington, New York, Albany and Washington, and even tell the story of certain furnishings.
“Huntington’s House Tour is always enjoyable and historically representative of the beautiful homes in the area,” Bruce Adams of Northport said.
“Holiday House Tour of Historic Houses is both a mission program, showing off historic houses of Huntington, and a fundraiser,” Pfaff said.
Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Society’s many programs, events and research. The Society provides public education programs, school and scout visits, research and genealogy resources, and interpretations of historic properties through historic house tours and exhibits.
“The proceeds support our mission to serve as the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington,” Pfaff said.
The tour is set for Sunday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40, $35 for members, in advance. Purchase online at huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org, or call 631-427-7045 ext. 401. Ticket price increases by $5 if purchased the day of the tour.