Letters make Christmas personal at Landis Valley

By on November 24, 2015


History is brought to life by the ordinary writings of everyday people and letters, those simple documents that chronicle daily life.

Such lettters will be highlighted at this year’s Country Christmas Village event at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Manheim Township.

On Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 6, from noon to 5 p.m., children can learn the history of Santa Claus and will be able to mail letters to him at Landis Valley’s post office. With parents’ written permission, museum staff will process the letters and send them to North Pole, Alaska, from whence the children will receive a reply. The program will cost $1 to cover postage.

On Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m., Landis Valley will examine letters of another sort, as lecturer John Mulcahy will speak about the writings of his great-great-grandfather, Captain Emanuel D. Roath, who led Company E, 107th Pennsylvania during most of the Civil War. While incarcerated at Libby Prison in Richmond, Va., Roath carved a chess set that is featured in the Landis Valley’s visitor center exhibit, “1865: Lancaster County at the Close of the Civil War.” Recently, Mulcahy acquired Roath’s 1864 diary, which he just edited and published in November 2015. Mulcahy will sign copies of the book after the talk.

These programs are in addition to the other holiday interpretations that are part of the museum’s Christmas event.

Country Christmas Village runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 12 and from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 13. Admission to the event is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for youth ages 6 to 11. Landis Valley Associates members and children ages 5 and younger are free. All proceeds benefit the museum. More information on Country Christmas Village, as well as other upcoming events, can be found on the museum’s website, landisvalleymuseum.org.

The museum will follow up the event with its annual Holiday Bonfire, to be held Friday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This evening of free entertainment will feature a bonfire, Christmas carols performed by the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir, and horse-drawn wagon rides, as well as complementary cookies and hot cider in the Yellow Barn. In lieu of admission, visitors are asked to bring canned good donations for the Lancaster Food Bank.

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