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Christmas 18th Century Style

As we prepare for this special time of the year, giving thanks and celebrating the holidays, Wilderness Road State Park will be offering historical views of our most treasured of holidays, with a Christmas Past program on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Snow at Martin's Station

Snow blankets the ground at Historic Martin's Station at Wilderness Road State Park

A Frontier Christmas” will be conducted at the park’s Martin’s Station replica, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the holiday as it was celebrated on the 18th century Virginia frontier. Admission is free of charge, but parking rates do apply.

“A Frontier Christmas” has become an annual event for the park, with visitors transported back to 1775 as the men and women of Martin’s Station celebrate the yuletide season with holiday music 18th century style, caroling and refreshments such as ginger snaps and cider.

During the third quarter of the 18th century, Virginia’s frontier was comprised of a unique mixture of cultures from around the world.  Immigrants from countries such as  England, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany, just to name a few, were beginning to embark on our nation’s first westward migration and many found themselves traveling the Wilderness Road in search of a new life.  As a result of this migration, small frontier settlements soon became hubs for the many different social customs and traditions including religious beliefs. 

Christmas in colonial America was very different than Christmas of today.  Many colonists, especially those with Puritan, Presbyterian, and Quaker beliefs, thought of Christmas as a pagan celebration.  Some New England colonies passed laws banning the celebration of Christmas and anyone found in violation was a substantially fined. Unlike their northern neighbors, many settlers in the mid-Atlantic colonies celebrated Christmas just as they had in England.  Colonies with Anglican populations celebrated the Nativity during Advent, a penitential season in the church's calendar.  The festive season began on December 25th and lasted until January 6th or what was commonly called the twelve days of Christmas. During this time a traditional Yule log was burned and wealthy families would invite the less fortunate to their homes to attend Christmas gatherings.

The Powder Horn Gift Shop will be conducting their annual Christmas sale which will feature a discount on all items in the store, a small Christmas Shop adorned with holiday gifts and more.

For more information, please contact the park office at 276-445-3065 or visit the park's official website by clicking here.

Wilderness Road State Park is located at the intersection of Routes 58 (Wilderness Road) and 923 (Martin's Station Trail), five miles west of Ewing, Va., and 10 miles east of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, Ky.

Published: 11/26/2012

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