A special “Victorian Christmas” open house will be held at the Drennen-Scott Historic Site from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and site director Tom Wing said everyone’s invited!
Those attending the open house at 221 N. 3rd St. in Van Buren will be greeted by two of the living descendants of John Drennen -- Caroline Bercher of Lavaca and Scott Bulloch of Van Buren. Bercher is on the committee helping plan the event and she is enthusiastic about the upcoming open house.
“The event will show the house as it was on Christmas Eve in 1899,” said Bercher. “On hand for our open house will be P.D. Scott Sr. and his wife, portrayed by volunteers Greg Hall and Martha Siler. They will share what went on in the house when the family lived there. P.D. Scott is the grandson of John Drennen.”
Wing said he had wanted to have a Christmas open house since the site opened in 2005 when it was obtained by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. The Drennen-Scott Historic Site, as it is now called, was the Drennen-Scott Home when UAFS started the restoration process.
“What makes the house unique from many restorations is that this house was continuously occupied by members of the same family until the sale,” said Wing. “The original key to the home was turned over to the university in September 2005 by Caroline and Scott, along with the third descendant, Drennen Bulloch, who lives in Little Rock.”
Wing said the three siblings, like most children growing up and visiting family, were in and out of the house a lot and didn't realize the importance of who the original owner of the home was – a founder of Van Buren, politician, Indian agent, landowner, businessman and nationally significant historical figure.
“They only found that out later – much later – and began to see how this home was special,” said Wing. “We wanted everyone in the area to have an opportunity to get a glimpse of history during the holidays, and this Victorian Christmas open house is a special way of doing that.”
Wing said the event will include eggnog, wassail and period eats as well as horse-drawn carriage rides.
“There will also be a Victorian craft program and Christmas music,” he said. “The dining room and parlor will be decorated in Victorian style by local florists, and the grounds will have candle luminaries. Students and volunteers are assisting at the event.”
Limited parking is available. Guests may park near the Crawford County Courthouse and walk to the site, which is slightly over a block away. There is no admission charge.