Camden County Dinosaur">Camden County Historical Society

Special Yuletide Display in Pomona Hall

Photography by Hoag Levins ...| ...Dec. 8, 2003

This is a 2-page feature. See Pages: One | Two |

Byer's Choice 1 Byer's Choice 2
CAMDEN, N.J. -- A special exhibit of 80 Byers' Choice Christmas figurines filled the Victorian Parlor of the Camden County Historical Society's Pomona Hall for this year's Candlelight & Carols Tour. Since the 1960s, Byers' Choice of Pennsylvania has been making historically accurate dolls that celebrate the Dickensian stories and legends that are such a touchstone of American holiday traditions. Also see larger photo.

Victorian Room
The second-floor Victorian Parlor is the only space in Pomona Hall that is restored as it would have been in the 19th rather than the 18th century. One end of the room (above) is dominated by a Victorian organ. The other end (below, left) is a parlor-like setting organized around a stately fireplace. Also see larger photo.

Victorian Room 2 Marguerite Peak
The large Byers' Choice collection was put on loan to the Society by Marguerite Peak of Barrington (above, right), who has been collecting the Carolers for more than thirty years. "Back in the 1970s, I was so tired of the awful plastic stuff the stores were selling for Christmas decorations," she explained. "When I saw these, they captured the sense of warmth and historic tradition I wanted in my home. After that, I couldn't stop buying them." Also see larger photo.

Girls Kris Kringle
The dolls, each individually handmade, pay careful attention to the authentic detail of the Victorian clothing as well as the implements carried by each character. They are designed to recreate scenes from such famous holiday literary works as Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Others trace the evolution of the character embodied in today's beloved Santa Clause myth. Also see larger photo.

Byer's Choice 8 Byer's Choice 1
Byers' Choice was started as a dining room table Christmas project in the 1960s by artist and fashion designer Joyce Byers. Her first Santas and Dickensian characters were made from coat hangers, old coat fur and other odds and ends. Now, Byers' Choice Ltd. employs 180 people who work in a sprawling campus-like factory complex in bucolic Bucks County. Also see larger photo.

All Rights Reserved © 2003,
About this Web site


> Warmth of an Old-Time Christmas: Yuletide in an 18th-Century Mansion

> Understanding Twelfth Night: The Holiday That Time Forgot

> Home Tasks of 18th-Century Women

> The Herb Garden Then & Now: Mansion Plant Life Explained

> A Lesson in the Creation and Repair of 18th-Century Clothing

> Death By Fire In Colonial Kitchens

> Inside an Open-Hearth Cooking Class

> Stalking the 18th-Century Asparaus: An Open-Hearth Cooking Feature

> The Use, Value and Theft of 18th-Century Garden Tools

> Sheep and Wool in Colonial Life

Wedding Dresses