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NewsTribune photo/Tamara Abbey Mendota Museum and Historical Society acting executive director Deb Brokaw (right) supervises her children Hayleigh and Calvin as they prepare the Hume Carnegie Museum in downtown Mendota for the annual “Holidays at the Museum” from 4-6 p.m. Dec. 8 Tickets for the event that includes appetizers, desserts, wine and other beverages are available by calling the museum at (815) 539-3373.
MENDOTA — Holiday music, appetizers and themed decorations reflecting Mendota’s history will ring in the holiday season at Hume Carnegie Museum in downtown Mendota 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. The annual event also marks the closing of the museum for the winter before regular hours resume in March.
Museum volunteers annually decorate the museum with trees decorated in themes that highlight Mendota’s history.
Volunteers Mary Lynn Sondgeroth, Rita Randecker, Barb Anderson, Leslie Althaus, Ginny Brandau, Dee Holtz, Sheree Kutter and Chris Stamberger worked on decorations for the main floor of the museum. Barb Wieman assisted with decorating downstairs, where guests can enjoy acoustic guitar music by Ray Tutaj Jr. during the event.
A collection from Mendota’s former Tea Room, now owned by Betty Durham, will be the focus of the decorations downstairs. The handmade ornaments belonged to Leonard Klein who owned a bakery in Mendota before opening the Tea Room. Wieman said the collection is precious to her, since Klein was a cousin.
The museum’s acting executive director Deb Brokaw said the ornaments are reminiscent of her childhood when the tree would be covered in handmade decorations.
Trees on the main floor of the museum include a salute to Mendota’s veterans that has been on display since Veterans Day.
“We have a Gold Star Veterans tree that we left up,” Wieman said. “We also have some other really pretty trees there.”
One tree highlights Mendota’s bustling retail trade with postcards of the old stores. Brokaw said volunteers took copies of the actual postcards before turning them into ornaments that highlight Mendota’s rich history.
The trees have been incorporated into the museum’s displays and will be available to the public 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until the annual “Holidays at the Museum” on Dec. 8. The event includes appetizers, desserts, wine, coffee and holiday music 4-6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The annual event closes out the year by ringing in the holiday season.
“It’s just a nice, informal evening where people can come and visit while celebrating the holidays,” Brokaw said. “We get a good mix of members and nonmembers every year.” Reservations for the event are due by Dec. 4 and can be made by calling the museum office at (815) 539-3373.
The museum then closes for the winter and re-opens in March. The office remains open several hours a week and tours for January-March can be arranged by calling the office.
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