Annual Holidays at Hagley Exhibition Returns

Eleutherian Mills, the 1803 ancestral home of the du Pont family, will be decorated to reflect the traditions of the holiday season as it was celebrated so long ago.

Hagley Museum and Library’s annual Christmas exhibition, Holidays at Hagley, will be on display Nov. 28-Jan. 6. Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America, will be decorated with dried flowers, greenery, fruit and other natural materials. Picture the du Pont family in the winter sitting together to play backgammon, read, listen to music or draw. “During the winter, adults and children spent a lot of time on indoor pursuits. Children engaged in activities that would prepare themselves for their adult lives, but they also had time for playing. These activities are represented in this year’s holiday display,” says Debra Hughes, curator of Collections and Exhibits. Girls could practice sewing. Children could entertain themselves by layering different colored sands in a glass bottle. In the Terrace Room, notice the ice skates and sled waiting to be used on a snowy slope. Eleutherian Mills for the Holidays at Hagley exhibit provides an intimate look into the common winter activities of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries.