As the holidays approach, imagine it’s Christmas Eve, 1898, and you are invited to the Kellogg House

Dec 13, 2010 by Sandy Schroeder

As you step into the vestibule of this original home, you feel like you should be wearing a hat and gloves, and carrying a box of chocolates.

Magically, when you visit the Heritage Museum in Santa Ana, where the Kellogg house now resides, you are transported back to Southern California as it was then.

Wearing its holiday finery, the Kellogg House welcomes holiday visitors with wreaths over the doors and a glowing Christmas tree in the parlor.

For a family, this is a perfect way to give kids a glimpse of Christmas past in Southern California. Beautifully outfitted and richly decorated, rare antiques fill the rooms, and fine fabrics drape the windows and chairs. You can almost smell the hot chocolate, hear the carolers outside, and see the candles flickering in the window.

Make it an afternoon treat for the holidays

Nestled in the midst of busy Santa Ana streets, and freeway close, the Heritage Museum offers an easy journey into the past.

The Kellogg House was designed and built in 1898 and it was originally located on Orange Ave. in Santa Ana, serving as the family residence until the 1950’s.

In 1980 the house was moved to the present location, to avoid demolition. Now it sits amidst twelve acres of rose gardens, citrus groves and an herb garden, with a blacksmith shop, farm and mining equipment, and nature trails out back–all part of Southern California’s history.

This is a tour of the house blow;

Start in the vestibule, then move on to the dining room, kitchen, and rear parlor. Slowly climb up the narrow winding staircase. There you will see the master bedroom, one bathroom that was used by the family of six, and sometimes more, a small classroom, and several other rooms.

Around the last corner, you will find an enchanting child’s bedroom, filled with toys that are over a hundred years old, a friendship quilt, board games, and a dollhouse that must have been an absolute treasure for some little girl long ago.

Within each room, the late 1800’s are thoughtfully assembled and beautifully detailed with all of the furnishings that you could imagine: the huge old piano, the sewing machine, early school desks, the original Victrola, the washing tub, a very early camera, and much more.

The Maag House, built in 1899 by one of the founders of the Sunkist empire is also on the grounds, but not yet restored for tours.

Now would be a great time to catch a glimpse of what those early holidays must have been like. But any time is a good time to share the past at the Heritage Museum. Tours for schools and groups are available and many community fund raising programs are offered.

On the afternoon that I was there, volunteers were scurrying about prepping for a special fundraiser that was sold out,

Be proactive and check the monthly calendar for the Museum’s rose garden tours and tutoring, special programs, performing groups, among other programs that they offer to the public.

The Museum is an active part of Orange County, and a wonderful glimpse into both our past and present.

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