Taking a step back to Christmas 1915 at the Oscar Anderson House Museum

Historic home decked out for 1915 Christmas celebration.
Historic home decked out for 1915 Christmas celebration.(Alaska's News Source)
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 5:36 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A little slice of history and nostalgia can be found at the Oscar Anderson House in downtown Anchorage.

Built in 1915 the little yellow bungalow near Elderberry Park is now a museum, giving visitors a glimpse of what Christmas was like in the early days of the city.

The Oscar Anderson family celebrated Christmas according to their Swedish roots, said the museum manager, Rachel Baker.

“They actually celebrate from December all the way to January,” said Baker. “It’s about a month-long and they just have a lot of feasts and parties.”

There are several straw decorations as well as bright-red wooden candle holders. Red is a common theme in the ornaments as well as the ribbons used to tie up the gifts wrapped in butcher paper under the tree.

“Oscar was a butcher and so butcher paper would be a very easily accessible thing to wrap gifts in,” says Baker. “Other families might use newspaper or even fabric.”

The house was restored with period wallpaper, furniture, and antiques like a Victrola record player and player piano according to a municipal brochure on the landmark house.

And there are plenty of original family items, like photos, a butcher block from Oscar’s butcher shop, and the china, according to the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation, Inc.

According to the brochure, Oscar Anderson was the 18 person to arrive in Ship Creek’s Tent City in early 1915.

The house is now closed for tours but expected to reopen in May 2021 according to Alaskapreservation.org.

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