Celebrate! Holidays in Windsor 1880-1910


November 17, 2005-July 15, 2006

North Gallery



Did you know there was no pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving?  That May Day dew might be the fountain of youth, or that Santa Claus once came on New Years Day?  Learn more about the holidays you thought you knew as the Windsor Historical Society presents Celebrate, Holidays in Windsor 1880-1910.  


The Victorian era was full of holiday celebrations both old and new. Americans created over twenty-five holidays between 1870 and 1910 and made significant alterations to other established celebrations. Many of these changes came about because of social concerns.  Americans created Memorial Day to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. Reformers used Thanksgiving Day to teach immigrant children about the first immigrants, the Pilgrims, hoping that they would spread American traditions to their foreign families. Columbus Day unified Americans in a patriotic celebration of their adopted homeland.


Victorian holidays also reflected the growing consumerism of the late 19th century. Retailers advertised all kinds of Christmas gifts, from dolls to sewing machines to medical cure-alls. Card makers printed colorful valentines for Victorians eager to buy affordable greetings for friends and family. Florists and card makers also reaped great profits when Mother’s Day became a holiday in 1908.  


The Windsor Historical Society’s rich collection offers visitors a fun and colorful way to explore a year of Victorian holidays. Visitors will delight in historic holiday toys, valentines, postcards and photographs.  Come see the exhibition during the Society’s normal operating hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and continue the celebration at Society-sponsored programs.  The exhibition is on view in the Society’s North Gallery through July 15, 2006.


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Copyright © 2006 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.