Jacquelynne Steves

Yuletide Tour of Historic Homes

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!



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:

JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour3 The original “front room” to the colonial home.

JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour4 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.


JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour5 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!


JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour6 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.



JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour7 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:

JacquelynneSteves_Yuletidetour8_MasterBedroomChristmas This is the master bedroom, all decorated for Christmas. They even have a fully decorated tree in the room. Loved it!!!


JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour9 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?


JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour10 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.


JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour_AntiqueQuilt 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:

JacquelynneSteves_YuletideTour11 It was very common during this time period to decorate both the interiors and exteriors of homes with fresh fruit and greenery for Christmas.








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

JacquelynneSteves_SalemOakTree 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.


JacquelynneSteves_SalemCourtHouse Salem County Court House, 1735


JacquelynneSteves_SalemPresbyterianChurch 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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    Posted December 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    That last picture is just gorgeous! And all of the houses look so nice. We live in an area that doesn’t really have historic places like that, it would be nice to visit!

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      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Tracy- My husband took all of the photos that day. The steeple on the Presbyterian church is quite remarkable and beautiful!

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    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh my, what an awesome tour. I love how magical the homes look, thanks so much for sharing.

    Merry Christmas!!

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      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      It really put me in the holiday mood, Barb. It was so kind of the homeowners to open up the homes for the tour.

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    Tami Chaulk
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing with us! I really enjoyed going on the tour with you. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Tami. I hope you had a very nice Christmas also!

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    Posted December 25, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    You should visit Colonial Williamsburg, VA to see the decorations. Love that place at Christmas.
    Loved these photos also.

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      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Terry, I have been to Williamsburg, just once at Christmas time and it was lovely. The feeling is very much the same. I love the simplicity of the decorations!

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    Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tour. I love seeing the old homes and reading about the history of an area.

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      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I have to admit that I always thought History was boring while learning about it in school, but seeing the homes up close makes it so interesting!

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    Sarah Edwards
    Posted November 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Love the pictures and decorations. Reminds me of Fredericksburg and Williamsburg VA. Love the history. Thanks so much for sharing.

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