By Victoria Espinoza
Plan on decking the halls this season with the Huntington Historical Society.
The group will be hosting its annual holiday house self-guided tour this Sunday, Dec. 6, when participants will take a tour of five private houses and two museums in Huntington.
“It’s a nice way to kick off the holidays and get into the spirit,” said Maria DeLeo, office coordinator of the Huntington Historical Society. “Many families and big groups of friends come together to celebrate.”
All houses will be decorated for the holidays and will have a representative from the historical society to answer any questions, DeLeo said.
Each house is at least 100 years old, according to DeLeo, and displays different kinds of architecture with many aspects of the homes in their original form.
The oldest house by far on the tour is the Cornelia Prime House, with construction beginning back in 1760. According to the historical society, Prime donated money to the Huntington Trade School, was a benefactor of the Huntington Hospital and donated the famous tower clock to town hall.
The Panfield Manor House is another stop on the tour. Its original owner led the incorporation of the Village of Lloyd Harbor in 1926 and became its first mayor, according to the historical society.
The Dr. Daniel Kissam House Museum and the David Conklin Farmhouse Museum will also be decorated for Christmas and open to all participants of the holiday house tour.
DeLeo said the tour itself is more than 20 years old, and the society expects as many as 500 people to come this year.
“We have people calling in October asking about the event,” DeLeo said. “It’s very popular and many people come back year after year.”
The Huntington Holiday House Tour Committee starts searching for properties to feature over the summer, and DeLeo said the event is possible because of the generous people who open up their homes to her group.
The Huntington Historical Society was created in 1903 as an exclusively female organization. DeLeo said the founders were inspired by the town’s 250th anniversary celebration, which they took part in, as well as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was the featured speaker.
The first charter named the group the Colonial Society of Huntington, and when the organization received a new charter in 1911, they renamed themselves the Huntington Historical Society.