At this time of year I tend to spend a fair amount of of time discussing traditional Christmas decorations. I realize that this is because of the way that we decorate the O'Dell House Museum for Victorian Christmas, but there is more to it than that. After visitors have a look at the decorations around the museum, I invariably have a conversation or two about memories of other buildings in Annapolis Royal that were ornately decorated. The one building which almost always comes up in these conversations is St Luke's Anglican Church. In every one of these conversations I have mentioned that we have some archival images of St Luke's in full Christmas decoration mode. I figured that this would be an appropriate opportunity to find one of these photographs.
What strikes me about this picture is the amazing amount of balsam fir garland that has been made. Even in capable hands creating garland can be a time consuming process. In addition to the long strands sweeping upward toward the ceiling, under magnification you can see that the chancel has been extensively decorated. Strands of garland sweep gracefully around the alter and the organ. In a tradition that has evidently been carried on into more recent days, the eagle standing at the front of the congregation as a piece of holly in its mouth. Normally a pretty building, St Luke's must have been very impressive when all of the Christmas decorations were up. This photograph comes from the Charlotte Perkins collection held by the Annapolis Heritage Society Archives. Ms. Perkins' great, great grandfather was Rev. Cyrus Perkins, Rector of St Luke's.
All for now,