Christmastime at Palm Cottage
Decorations revisit a pre-WWII era
If you go
‘Christmas at Palm Cottage’
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 8 p.m.
Where: 137 12th Ave. S., Naples
Cost: $6, but free for members of the Naples Historical Society and children under 10
Christmastime at Palm Cottage promises a journey to another era. This year the Naples Historical Society, which maintains the house museum, decided the decorations at Naples’s oldest home on 12th Avenue South should reflect the early 1900s up until World War II.
“Just like my home and your home isn’t one particular period, it’s an evolution over a period of time,” said Elaine Reed, executive director of the Naples Historical Society. “It is sort of like putting the house back in the house museum.”
The tinsel on the first floor Christmas tree was carefully placed, as one would have likely taken extra time while decorating. A large centerpiece on the dining room table features pinecones and fruit pieces in the style of the 15th-century Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia.
“It always looks beautiful, but this just enhances the house itself,” said Barb Jones, a docent at Palm Cottage. “It’s like a woman getting dressed up for the holidays, putting on makeup and wearing nice clothes.”
Anyone who visits during the month of December can take in both the holiday decorations and the rich history of the home, which was originally owned by publishing magnate Walter Halderman. While there are no known photos of what the home looked like around the holidays at the turn of the 20th century, Jones said she believes people would have used what was available outside for decorations, such as fruit and berries.
“Just by going outside their door or taking a walk through the marshes and the scrub brush they would have been able to find that sort of thing,” said Jones.