Homemade Christmas at Mulberry Hill Plantation

Published 10:58 am Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The halls are decked and the trees are trimmed at historic Mulberry Hill Plantation in Randolph. Mulberry Hill is the backdrop for the 2019 Antebellum-themed Homemade Christmas hosted by the Staunton River Battlefield State Park and the Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc. on Saturday and Sunday Dec. 7-8 from 1-4 p.m. Parking is available at Mulberry Hill next to the mansion on Mulberry Hill Road and the Plantation is located on 2667 Mulberry Hill Road in Randolph.

Come out and share in the Yuletide, merriment and holiday cheer. The mansion, dependencies, gardens, and grounds will be open to the public to view, experience and learn about the life of a successful and working plantation during the Antebellum period. Volunteer docents/guides dressed in period attire will adorn each room of the house to provide personal and interpretative interactions with guests and Confederate reenactors will be bivouacked in the boxwood gardens to provide guests with a glimpse into the life of a Civil War soldier from the hardships of war to the preparation of camp during the winter months and holidays.

Period refreshments will be served for inquiring minds and taste buds along with a collective recipe book, which features tasty and delectable holiday dishes served at Mulberry Hill by the family and locally for over 150 years.

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Visitors will learn techniques on how Christmas décor and toys were fashioned using the bounty of nature and man’s ingenuity. Visitors will be able to “make-and-take” their very own homemade ornaments, toys and holiday decorations to enjoy in their home for generations to come. All of the supplies needed will be available at the event and some of the make-and-take homemade Christmas crafts include a greenery decoration, a doll (corn husk/cloth), and a Christmas tree ornament. The event is intended for the entire family so be sure to include children as Jolly Ole St. Nicholas will be on-site to bring tidings of joy and cheer.

The plantation is the ancestral home of the Virginia Carrington family. Among those who walked these venerable buildings and grounds were prominent founders of our nation, politicians, lawyers, war heroes, and successful planters. The namesake, Mulberry Hill, was derived from Judge Paul Carrington’s endeavor to raise silkworms, which fed on the overabundant mulberry trees located throughout the rolling fields and acres.

The manor dates to the mid-1700s. Its outbuildings, law office, and grounds and boxwood gardens provide a perfect timeline of history and culture for interpreting the life of a successful colonial family that with their progeny encompassed more than two hundred years of history in Southside Virginia. Most notably, the house served as headquarters for the advancing Federal Army during the Battle of Staunton River Bridge in 1864.

The money raised from this event will go toward fulfilling the Foundation’s mission of supporting the Battlefield State Park and its continued restoration efforts at Mulberry Hill. The foundation is composed of a dedicated group of volunteers and its yearly dues-paying members; if you are interested in joining the foundation or would like to volunteer with this event or future events, call (434) 454-4312/7157. Visit the foundation’s Facebook page or website at www.historicstauntonriverfoundation.org.