Mayor Henry Braun and his wife Velma were treated to a sneak peek of Trethewey House all decked out in its holiday best on Nov. 25.
Christina Reid, MSA Museum’s collections manager, took the Brauns on a tour of the house and interpreted the collections pieces and their relevance to the history of the region.
Trethewey House was built in 1919 and finished in 1920 with the finest fir lumber produced at the Abbotsford Lumber Company mill on Mill Lake. The bricks used in the chimneys and fireplaces were made with clay mined on nearby Sumas Mountain and processed at Clayburn Village, B.C.’s first company town.
Trethewey House was designated as a heritage site in 1983, and is now operated by the MSA Museum Society, which will soon merge with The Reach Gallery Museum.
The staff of the two organizations have created a 1920s Christmas house while returning many of the artifacts to their place in the historic house.
"This time of the year is always special at Trethewey House, but this year, decking the halls has had a deeper significance than ever,” Reid said.
“This stately home, which symbolizes the many facets of Abbotsford on so many levels, has regained its rightful place as the jewel in Abbotsford's crown. After what amounts to a few rough years in the long lives of the house and the collection, it feels wonderful to be able to return the appropriate collections pieces to this place, where they can be displayed on behalf of all of Abbotsford's citizens. I am incredibly excited to embark on this new adventure."
Kris Foulds, collections manager at The Reach, echoed Reid’s enthusiasm.
“As one whose personal history includes both organizations, I am ‘happy dance’ excited about the impending amalgamation of the MSA Museum Society and The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford.
“I am looking forward to the benefits of bringing the collections together, but more importantly, the expertise and passion the combined staff team will contribute to preserving and sharing local history for the community.”
Braun said Trethewey House staff have done an “amazing job” decorating for the holiday season.
“This location is a treasured part of our local history and it is the perfect time of year for visiting with the family. I am proud to see this part of our heritage on display for all residents to appreciate.”
Trethewey Christmas House is now open for public tours until Dec. 18. It is located at 2313 Ware St.
A free carolling and movie night is on Dec. 8, and an old-fashioned breakfast with Santa is on Dec. 12 for $8. Tickets are available at eventbrite.ca or by calling the museum office at 604-853-0313.