Homemade Christmas at Mulberry Hill Plantation

Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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The “halls are decked” and the “trees are trimmed” at historic Mulberry Hill Plantation in Randolph. Mulberry Hill is the backdrop for the 2021 Antebellum-themed Homemade Christmas hosted by the Staunton River Battlefield State Park and the Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, from 1 – 4 p.m. There is an admission fee. Parking is available at Mulberry Hill next to the mansion on Mulberry Hill Road, and the mansion is located on 2667 Mulberry Hill Road in Randolph. The Foundation is thrilled to celebrate the Christmas season after recent events in 2020; and bells are ringing for an exciting 2021 in Randolph.

The mansion, dependencies, gardens and grounds will be open to the public to view, experience and learn about the life of a successful and working plantation during the Antebellum period.

Volunteer docents/guides dressed in period attire will adorn each room of the house to provide personal and interpretative interactions with guests, and Civil War reenactors will be bivouacked in the Boxwood Gardens to provide guests with a glimpse into the life of a Civil War solider from the hardships of war to the preparation of camp during the winter months and holidays. Period refreshments will be served for inquiring minds and taste buds along with a collective recipe book, which features tasty and delectable holiday dishes served at Mulberry Hill by the family and locally for over 150 years.

Visitors will learn techniques on how Christmas décor and toys were fashioned using the bounty of nature and man’s ingenuity. Guests will be able to “make-and-take” their very own “homemade” ornaments, toys and holiday decorations to enjoy in their home for generations to come. All of the supplies needed will be available at the event. The “make-and-take” homemade Christmas crafts will include a greenery decoration, a child’s toy and a Christmas Tree Ornament. Other events and activities include a gift-shop, children’s activities, demonstrations on the preservation of meat in a period smoke house, spinning demonstration, and a carriage/wagon ride through the garden. The event is intended for the entire family, so be sure to include children as Jolly Ole St. Nicholas will be on site to bring tidings of joy and cheer.

The plantation is the ancestral home of the Virginia Carrington family. Among those who walked these venerable buildings and grounds were prominent founders of our nation, politicians, lawyers, war heroes and successful planters. The namesake, Mulberry Hill, was derived from Judge Paul Carrington’s endeavor to raise silkworms, which fed on the overabundant mulberry trees located throughout the rolling fields and acres. The manor dates to the mid-1700s. Its outbuildings, law office and grounds and boxwood gardens provide a perfect timeline of history and culture for interpreting the life of a successful colonial family that with their progeny encompassed more than 200 years of history in Southside Virginia. Most notably, the house served as headquarters for the advancing Federal Army during the Battle of Staunton River Bridge in 1864.

A homemade stew will be available for purchase by the quart. The stewmasters are Jason and Stanley Foster.

The money and proceeds raised from this event will go towards fulfilling the foundation’s mission of supporting the Staunton River Battlefield State Park and its continued restoration efforts at Mulberry Hill. 

Admission tickets can be purchased online at the foundation’s online gift shop: https://historic-staunton-river-foundation-inc.square.site/ More information can be found by calling 434-454-4312/7157 or emailing info@HistoricStauntonRiverFoundation.org.