Historical house freshens up for an old-fashioned holiday
BRECKENRIDGE – Some houses just attract parties.At the turn of the century, community members flocked to Breckenridge Mayor William H. Briggle’s house to socialize and celebrate special events. In the new millennium, the house still hosts social events, as if it yearned to remain the talk of the town.The Summit Historical Society keeps the spirited house alive with its annual Christmas party. This year, the historical society opens the house to anyone who wants to peek into the past – as opposed to hosting a dinner, which allows only a small group to enjoy the house in full glory.”The most notable thing about this is it’s going to be totally decked out in full Victorian holiday decoration,” said Karen Fischer, tour and volunteer coordinator for the Summit Historical Society. “We’ve tried to be very accurate to the period, with a Victorian Christmas tree, wreaths and beautiful pomander balls. It’s a unique opportunity to visit this historical Victorian house and museum, all decked out in traditional Victorian trimmings.”Briggle built the one-and-a-half-story home on North Harris Street in Breckenridge after he married Kathleen Trottier in 1896. In addition to being politically active – serving as Breckenridge’s major twice, town trustee and county commissioner – he worked full time as a cashier at the Engle Bros. Exchange Bank.His job at the bank may have inspired his Romanesque Revival-style house, a style primarily reserved for banks because of its fortress-like characteristics. The architectural highlights include a high gable roof, original semi-circular and large rectangular windows – many filled with original pieces of cylinder glass – and an original wrought iron fence, marking the formal front lawn.The Summit Historical Society purchased the Victorian house around 1982, when Victor A. Kormeier of Houston donated $80,000 to the society, which renovated the structure, refurbishing the front hallway, kitchen, music room, formal Victorian parlor and a bedroom.Every Christmas, the Summit Historical Society recreates an old-fashioned holiday with wreaths, garland and ornaments true to the Victorian age. This year, several local real estate agents donated about $800 to decorate the Briggle house, as well as the Carter Museum, the Lomax Placer mine site and the Valley Brook Cemetery, Fischer said.The house, at 104 N. Harris St., opens its doors to guests from 5-7 p.m. Thursday. The historical society will serve refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, call (970) 453-9022.Kimberly Nicoletti may be reached by phone at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.—When & Where? Event: Summit Historical Society annual Christmas party? When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12? Where: William H. Briggle House, 104 N. Harris St., Breckenridge
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