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Old Homes Tour and Decorated Christmas Trees

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

What does this year's Historic Homes Tour (virtual this year) have to do with Christmas trees?

Well, an English Storybook cottage on Magnolia, which is part of this year's tour, was originally owned by a Virginia Hunt, according to City Historian Steve Baker. He said Hunt's maiden name was Minnigerode, and she was the great granddaughter of Dr. Charles Minnigerode, who was rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, from 1856 to 1889. Baker said Minnigerode, a German by birth, "is credited with introducing the decorated Christmas tree to the United States." (Baker said he confirmed this through an email to a parishioner he knows at St. Paul's.)

Minnigerode, he said, was also "a friend and confidant to Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, who worshiped at St. Paul's during the Civil War when Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy."

The Historic Homes Tour will be on video from 9 a.m. on May 1 until 9 p.m. on May 9. Monrovia Historic Preservation Group, which puts on the tour, is asking for a $20 donation to view the videos but because of the financial burden COVID has been, payment is up to each individual.

- Brad Haugaard

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