On the Porch

The Lyon County Museum is decorated for the holiday season through Dec. 31. Visit the Lyon County Museum this season to view trees decorated by area businesses, service groups, and nonprofit organizations along with antique and vintage holiday decorations. The museum also has a display of Department 56 villages from private collections. The following information is from the official Department 56 website regarding the history of the company.

Department 56 began as part of Bachman’s, a retail florist in Minneapolis. Bachman’s used a numbering system to identify each of its departments. The number assigned to wholesale gift imports division was 56. In 1976, Department 56 introduced a series of six hand-painted, ceramic buildings. These six premiere items were the beginnings of The Original Snow Village. The company is now headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Department 56 has become a leader in the giftware, collectibles and holiday decorating industry and is best known for our hand-crafted lighted villages, Snowbabies figurines and extensive lines of holiday and home decorative products.

The brand began with the Original Snow Village collection of six houses in 1976. Each Department 56 item has its name on the bottom. Buildings are also dated, with the year of copyright rather than year of issue. The first Original Snow Village pieces were the Mountain Lodge, Gabled Cottage, the Inn, Country Church, Steeple Church, and Small Chalet, and are made of ceramic.

In 1984, the Heritage Village Collection was developed. The first release was The Dickens’ Village Series. In the next few years, the Heritage Village Collection is extended to include other series, such as the New England Village Series, Alpine Village Series, Christmas in the City, and the North Pole Series.

The annual Holiday Home Tour is 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The Lyon County Museum opens at noon the day of the tour. Refreshments and holiday cookies and other goodies will be at the museum for home tour participants. Homeowners for the 2018 Holiday Home Tour are: Jim and Ann Carrow, Ken and Jan Noyes, and Joseph and Victoria Cieslewski. Tickets are $20 each and are available at the Lyon County Museum, Hy-Vee, and Coco Avenue.

The Lyon County Historical Society is a nonprofit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.