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County residents celebrate holiday at Whitall House

Annual Christmas Past weekend features free candlelight tours

This wooden replica showcases the exterior of the Whitall House, which has been standing since it was built during the American Revolution in 1766.

Free candlelight tours at the Whitall House Museum during the Christmas Past themed weekend early this month featured multiple trees, a display of gingerbread houses, jars of candy and lights and wreaths inside and out.

“Our volunteers dressed in traditional colonial garb (and) we also had artifacts preserved from the American Revolution on display, and of course our vendors were in full swing selling holiday-themed gifts and crafts,” said Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger of the museum, located at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park.

Tours of the historical museum were held each of the two nights, with pop-up holiday craft shops on the grounds of the park and handmade gifts.

“It’s never too early to start getting in the spirit for the holiday season by finding fun things to do in the county to celebrate the season’s greetings in new and unique ways,” said Commissioner Jim Lavender, liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreation in a press release leading up to the weekend.

The weekend was sponsored by the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Office of Land Preservation and the Department of Parks and Recreation, and COVID measures were in place.

“We plan the candlelight tours and Christmas village every year, but last year, we had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Damminger noted. “This year, we took extra time to ensure safety protocols for those attending.”

Bearing the date 1766, the Whitall House has been standing since the American Revolution and was once used as a hospital. The county acquired the house and grounds in 1904 and named it Red Bank Battlefield Park.

“The Whitall House is a very important aspect of our county history,” Damminger explained. “We are extremely proud to be the home of such an important part of American history and the American Revolution.”

For more information on the museum, visit the Gloucester County website at gloucestercountynj.gov.

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