BERLIN – Candlelight tours and a holiday open house will give the community the chance to experience the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum in the coming weeks.
The museum, located on Main Street, will be open for candlelight tours this Friday and will host an open house Dec. 4.
“It’s an opportunity for people who love the museum to see it and it’s also an opportunity for those who have never been,” said Melissa Reid, president of the museum board.
The museum is set to have a busy few weeks following Thanksgiving. On Friday, during the town’s Ice Ice Berlin event, the museum will be open for self-guided candlelight tours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Though docents have led the tours in years past, this year the museum will provide guests a tour booklet so they can peruse the museum on their own.
“It’s a way for people to enjoy it at their own pace,” Reid said.
Meanwhile, the museum will have a booth selling hot chocolate a few blocks south during Ice Ice Berlin.
“If you buy hot chocolate there during the tree lighting you’ll be supporting the museum,” Reid said.
About a week later, the Taylor House will host a day of family fun. On Saturday, Dec. 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. children and their parents are invited to the museum for storytelling, to taste traditional wassail and gingerbread and make crafts. That evening, from 5 pm. to 7 p.m., the Taylor House will host a cocktail reception. Guests will be offered wine and small bites by Baked Dessert Café as they enjoy live music from two Salisbury University performers and explore the museum.
Reid said the reception was being held instead of the classical Christmas concert the museum did in years past. She said organizers were still a little leery of setting up a formal concert style event due to COVID-19 but wanted people to be able to enjoy the museum.
“The house looks really beautiful at Christmas,” she said. “We wanted to welcome people but not in such a formal way.”
Both of the Dec. 4 events are free.
Whether community members plan to attend one of the Taylor House’s holiday events or not they are invited to support the museum on Giving Tuesday. On Nov. 30, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, the museum will once again be participating in the Shore Gives More Campaign that supports local nonprofits through a day of online giving. Those interested should donate at www.shoregivesmore.org/taylorhousemuseum between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Nov. 30.
“If we get the most donors during our hour the museum gets an extra $1,000,” Reid said.
She noted that money raised would help the museum continue its mission of sharing the history of Berlin. Specifically, donations will help with two new exhibits — one on the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley and one on Briddletown — that are planned for 2022.
“It’s not just to keep the lights on,” she said. “It’s so we can keep updating our exhibits and telling the stories of Berlin.”