Ornaments of historic Snohomish home will go fast

No one asked for my advice. What do I know? But I will wager that the Snohomish Historical Society didn’t order enough ornaments.

Knowing how Snohomish folks love their history, 100 ornaments depicting a historic local home will go quickly.

The Historic Snohomish Parlor Tour is set for noon- 4 p.m. Sunday.

View seven private Snohomish historic homes decked out for the holidays. You’ll also get into the Blackman House Museum.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets are available in advance at Star Center Mall, Weed’s Variety, Speckled Hen, Joyworks and Kusler’s. Sunday, tickets will be available at those shops and at the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B in Snohomish.

Watch for Home &Garden’s Thursday preview of the tour.

Months ago, Mary Pat Connors, a member of the society, had a brainstorm. She knew somebody who knew somebody who could make ornaments in Russia.

The Snohomish Historical Society is selling a Christmas ornament depicting Morgan House, built in 1898.

Each year they could sell an ornament featuring a different old house. It sounded like a great fund-raising idea.

They picked Morgan House in Snohomish for the first ornament. The mock-up arrived in an adorable wooden crate, so it was decided it would be neat if all of them came in little wooden crates lined with pretty tissue.

Voila. They are flask-shaped circles and substantial with “Morgan House 1898” on one side and “Snohomish” on the other side.

All are hand painted with a picture of the house, so each one is a teensy bit different – real collector’s items.

On the ornaments, columns on the front porch of Morgan House are white. If you compare two or three, you’ll see some have snow in the surrounding trees and some don’t.

Someone in Russia held each ornament and decided how much snow to dot on the trees, giving each a personal touch. And since they’re mostly blue and green, they can be displayed year around.

Beth and Randy Hamlin bought Morgan House 12 years ago, after looking it over for a year. Connors, co-owner of Kusler’s Pharmacy and Gifts in Snohomish, approached them about the ornament idea, Beth Hamlin said.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Hamlin said. “It was built in 1898. That speaks for itself.”

They’ve done substantial remodeling this past year and are quietly enjoying the results with new insulation and such. Don’t knock and ask for a tour; they aren’t giving any, but go ahead and take a peek at 421 Avenue B.

Drop by Kusler’s at 700 Avenue D to buy a $25 ornament or wait until Sunday and get one at the Historic Snohomish Holiday Parlor Tour.

Before the Hamlins remodeled, they invited a librarian from California to look at the project. The librarian spent part of her childhood at Morgan House and offered oodles of background.

“We tried to preserve as much of the history and integrity of the home as possible,” Hamlin said. “It’s funny, my brother has a home in Queen Anne, built in the same time period.”

With three children in elementary school in Snohomish, Hamlin is buying five ornaments, three for her sons, one for herself and one in case one breaks.

“I don’t take the ornament as flattery,” she said. “It’s just a house. We happen to be here.”

Hamlin said she loves the fact that Snohomish takes such pride in its community.

The Snohomish Historical Society found a jolly way to reflect that spirit, but I’m not sure they ordered enough for everybody.

Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or oharran@heraldnet.com.

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