Focus on the Delaware Valley, with Lora Lewis

Focus on the Delaware Valley, with Lora Lewis

Historic Odessa Foundation offers an Oliver Twist for the Holidays Download

00:29 Download December 12th, 2022

Brian Miller, Associate Curator of the Historic Odessa Foundation discussed the 72 acre enclave of 18th and 19th century structures and its annual holiday tradition of decorations and special events themed around a literary classic. For its 34th year the choice was ‘Oliver Twist’ or ‘The Parish Boy’s Progress’ and he described the transformation of the National Historic Landmark Corbit-Sharp House (c. 1774) into scenes and vignettes based upon the Dickens classic, including the Mr. Brownlow’s house (decorated for Christmas), Bill Sikes’ flat, Fagin’s den of pickpockets, and the iconic workhouse.

He spoke about the decision to spotlight a non-Christmas novel this year, he wanted something with a boy protagonist. We discussed the work that goes into the holiday spectacular, Brian begins almost immediately after one holiday to plan for the next and he shops for props carefully from the over 7,000 objects in the Oddessa collections.

In addition to the Corbit-Sharp House other properties will be decorated in period trimmings and there will be candlelight tours, a Christmas decoration thrift and events at Cantwell Tavern throughout the season.
The exhibit runs through Dec. 31, 2022.

We discussed the properties throughout the year, open March through December there’s an ongoing art exhibition featuring local artists, tours and events, hiking and more for individuals, families and school groups. We talked about its early history as an important shipping port and the village’s disappearance after the railway bypassed it. He notes that the Corbit-Sharpe House is on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and designated as a part of the National Parks Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Another topic for today, Brian was selected from thousands of entries to join in decorating the White House for this year’s celebrations! He talked about his experiences decorating the main public rooms.

For more information about visiting, or to book a holiday tour before they’re all sold out, visit HISTORICODESSA.ORG

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