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Highlighting Hartford’s Historic Tour of Homes

Dec. 3, 2017 – Hartford, WI – A nice write up by reporter Joanne Kempinger Demski in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding the Holiday Decorations in Historic Hartford.

A portion of her article is below.

“I have a large Army steamer trunk that was filled with ornaments that she gave me shortly after buying this house,” Margaret Smith said. “She was an Army nurse during World War II.”

When she decorates the large fireplace in her living room, she hangs five Christmas stockings on it, which were made by her sister, Sister Helen Butzler of the School Sisters of St. Francis; each bears the name of one of her children. On top of the mantel there is an array of garland, pine cones and little red reindeer, and on the fireplace wall there has always been a large wreath.

In her dining room, she sets her table in a holiday motif, then adds accents throughout the room.

On a nearby buffet she swirls garland with dried hydrangeas, pine cones and silver ribbon between two large statues that had been in her family for years.

“The statues are French, from the late 1800s, and are by an artist named Eugene Cautz,” she said.

Smith said she enjoys the same look each year because it’s a family tradition, but also because it fits the style of her home so well.

“This house — which is a brick colonial revival — is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1926 by George and Blanche Kissel, who were the owners of Kissel Car Company, which was also known as Kissel Kar Company. They would have been considered wealthy individuals in those days.

If you go

What: Hartford Historic Home Tour. Tour four historic homes decorated for the holidays.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 9.  

Tickets: $15. Available through the Schauer Art Center, at (262) 670-0560, or at the homes the day of tour.

For more information: Call (262) 673-3232 or see the Hartford Historical Society Facebook page.

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