A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went on a Yuletide Tour of Historic Homes in our neighboring town, historic Salem, New Jersey. We loved seeing these beautiful old homes all decorated for Christmas. It really inspired me to step up my game in the decorating department! Our county is rich in history, which you will with the following photos and descriptions. Make sure to read down to the bottom for my description of the famous Salem Oak, a tree which has been standing since at least 1675.

There was a Revolutionary War encampment set up. They set off the cannons frequently- all of the poor dogs in the neighborhood were absolutely terrified! But the smell of the wood fire and gun powder in the crisp cold air really put you in a “historical mood.” Oh, how cold and lonely and hungry those soldiers must have been!

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The main street leading into the town features colonial homes, built mostly in the 1700’s and early 1800’s. These are my favorite. A few blocks away on the side streets, Victorian homes dot the blocks. (Makes sense, right? Older/original street = older Colonial homes.  Side streets = later Victorian homes.)

Here is the interior of one of the Colonial homes:

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The original “front room” to the colonial home.

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The “new” front room of the same house, which was added on several years later in the Federal style which became popular and a sign of affluence.

 

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A grand tree in the Federal style living room. Note that it is secured to the wall with wires to prevent its toppling over onto guests!

 

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An antique piano in that same Federal style room. I do not know the age of the instrument, but it fit perfectly into the style and size of the room.

 

 

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This is me standing at the back gate of the same house.

 

Here is a different house- I actually think this was my favorite home on the tour:

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This is the master bedroom, all decorated for Christmas. They even have a fully decorated tree in the room. Loved it!!!

 

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Second floor landing also had a Christmas tree which you cannot see in this photo. There were at least 4 beautiful trees tucked into this beautiful little home. Don’t you love the woodwork and architecture of this landing?

 

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The dining room table was laden with homemade baked treats for guests to enjoy. One of the guys who lives in this house is a professional baker.

 

This tiny Saltbox style house was originally a twin home (divided into 2 houses- note the chimney in the middle which both homes would have shared.) This home would have been the servant’s quarters for the large home across the street.

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This antique appliqued quilt was displayed in the Saltbox home. Gorgeous :)
The owners custom built the box at the lower right to look like an antique feed bin. It actually houses the washer and dryer- pretty ingenious!

 

The exteriors of the homes were really beautiful too:

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It was very common during this time period to decorate both the interiors and exteriors of homes with fresh fruit and greenery for Christmas.

 

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A few more historical landmarks in the town of Salem, NJ:

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The famous Salem Oak. This tree is located in the Friends (Quakers) cemetary. Tradition holds that John Fenwick signed a treaty with the Native American tribe of the Lenni Lenape under this tree in 1675. It is about 90 feet tall and its foliage covers about 1/4 acre.

 

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Salem County Court House, 1735

 

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First Presbyterian Church

 

I hope you have enjoyed going on this tour with me. I will be pinning a lot of these photos onto my Pinterest boards: ArchitectureSpaces I Dream About, and Christmas. Seeing these homes has really inspired some decorating ideas for me- How about you?

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