Southsiders enjoyed stories, recipes and carols Sunday night during the annual celebration of a Victorian Christmas at the Franklin Township Historical Society.
About 100 patrons of all ages enjoyed the one-hour celebration with Santa Claus, punch and cookies that is held yearly at the society’s Meeting House at 6510 S. Franklin Road. The home of the FTHS originally was the Big Run Baptist Church, built in 1871 and turned over to the organization in 1977 to preserve its history.
Visitors walked between luminaries that lined each side of the stone walkway to the front door of the Meeting House for the festive evening.
Historical society president Nancy Van Arendonk recalled Victorian Christmases in Boston and other cities and explained the original recipes for Christmas pudding and the boar’s head.
Dressed in a Victorian suit, Larry Van Arendonk led the guests in singing Christmas songs including the festive “Jingle Bells,” and somber “Silent Night.”
Bill Clark read the Christmas Story from the Holy Bible and a Victorian-garbed Santa Claus, portrayed by Jon Baugh, read “The Night Before Christmas.”
The Meeting House and museum preserves numerous Franklin Township artifacts, documents, maps and high school yearbooks.
The church’s original lectern and pump organ also were utilized for the Victorian Christmas. Jim Kemp played a solo on the pump organ and accompanied the singing of Christmas carols.
The Meeting House and museum are adjacent to the cemetery and are listed with the National Registry of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures.
The Meeting House is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday and third Sunday of each month. Admission is free.
Membership and info: www.fths.org.