Marjorie Johnson, dressed in her 1800s finery, will read  Twas the Night Before Christmas by a coal oil lamp near a fireplace.
Marjorie Johnson, dressed in her 1800s finery, will read Twas the Night Before Christmas by a coal oil lamp near a fireplace. (Mark Engebretson)
The Palo Pinto County Historical Association will hold its seventh annual Frontier Christmas 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Old Jail Museum Complex in Palo Pinto. The association remembers Christmas as it once was, along the freshly settled banks of the Brazos River when times were hard, dangerous and shopping was a luxury most people could ill afford. "There will be carolers at the museum, a campfire with cowboy coffee and hot chocolate," said Ann Reagan, one of the event organizers. "The children from Palo Pinto School will make old-time decorations for the Christmas tree. They make ornaments like they would have been made in the 1800s." Marjorie Johnson, dressed in her 1800s finery, will read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by a coal oil lamp near a fireplace.
Trooper Gary Rozzell, Texas Department of Public Safety information officer, dresses in Civil War clothing at last year’s Frontier Christmas.
Trooper Gary Rozzell, Texas Department of Public Safety information officer, dresses in Civil War clothing at last year's Frontier Christmas. (Mark Engebretson)
There will be dolls made from corn husks as children watch, quilting and a loom for weaving - all recalling the days when Christmas presents were often made at home. New this year will be a 15-passenger stagecoach on display. Rex Mansell, owner of the stage coach, reported it was built in 1990 by J. Brown from Weatherford. It is No. 30 of the 60 that he built. "His coaches are displayed in Wells Fargo banks in the U.S.," he added. "This coach has had three owners, the third and last owner being Rolling M Ranch owned by Rex and Jean Mansell. The coach is built of fiberglass and wood throughout. Its dry weight is 2,500 pounds." It is made to hold 15 passengers. All hardware is gold plated. "J. Brown also built coaches for Hollywood," he added. "This coach is pulled by two draft mules but is set up to use four mules or horses if desired." As in years past, there will be surrey rides. "We will have surrey rides through town to the First Christian Church," Reagan added. The church will be decorated much as it was when it was built in 1882, making it the first church. "The buildings will be decorated with cedar and berries," Reagan continued. "Cabins will be open with people doing things in each." The cabins were rebuilt on the grounds of the museum complex as was a stone fort, believed to date back to at least the 1850s. "The gift store will feature homemade candies and jellies and handmade items," she explained. "There will be snacks available, old-fashion treats." The event is free to the public, but donations will be accepted. Those attending are invited to wear period dress.