Ivinson Mansion Nutcracker Holiday Open House

4 Dec

By: Amanda Bugbee

The Ivinson Mansion, or the Laramie Plains Museum is hosting their annual Holiday Open House on Saturday December 13th and Sunday December 14th. This is a marvelous event that should not be missed- trust me I go most every year.

Open house; getting into the holiday spirit

The beautiful historic Ivinson Mansion

The beautiful historic Ivinson Mansion

The weekend of December 13th and 14th marks the dates for the annual holiday open house at the Ivinson Mansion, or the Laramie Plains Museum. This year’s theme will be The Nutcracker; which will be fitting seeing that the University of Wyoming used the Ivinson Mansion as inspiration for the settings and theme of their annual Nutcracker ballet this December according to UW’s website. During the Holiday Open House free tours will be given of the mansion, which will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season as always.

There will also be several musical performances throughout the weekend by the Wind and Roses Harp duets, The Melodees, and St Matthew’s Carolers according to the museums website. The Holiday Open House is always beautifully put together and well executed by the Executive Director, Mary Mountain.

The Alice Hardie Steven’s Center, which is also located on the mansion grounds, will be packed with holiday cheer. The Laramie Woman’s Club will be holding their annual “Christmas Trinkets” sale. They will have tons of items; holiday, homemade, and most anything you could imagine; at very low and reasonable prices. Yummy Christmas treats and drinks will also be complimentary at the sale, just as they have been every year. The Trinket Sale is a great place to find gifts for everyone on your list.

The Nutcracker Holiday Open House hours are:

Saturday December 13th from 3:00-6:00pm & Sunday December 14th from 1:00-4:00pm

Ivinson history: part of the community

Veiw of the Ivinson Mansion grounds in winter

Veiw of the Ivinson Mansion grounds in winter

Mr. Ivinson moved his family from the east to the territory that would later become Wyoming. While in Laramie the family had a huge impact on the community.  At one point Mr. Ivinson was the Governor and later a banker. Mrs. Ivinson started church services and Sunday school classes. “He (Mr. Ivinson) also completed the three towers and gave money for chimes and the clock at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, as well as a pair of stained glass windows in Jane’s memory. Mr. Ivinson also donated the War Memorial (WWI) which now stands on the northeast corner of Courthouse Square, diagonally across from the front door of the Ivinson Mansion.”(laramiemuseum.org). Mr. Ivinson also gave his home to the church to be used as a girl’s home. Upon his death Mr. Ivinson gave his money to the creation of the Ivinson Home for Aged Ladies, which was a dream of Mrs. Ivinson. The Ivinson Home for Aged Ladies still sits on Grand Ave.

The Ivinson family was very much involved in our community and has made it what it is today. The Ivinson Open House is a great way to learn more about their history and their positive impact on our community.

Other fun events and how to get involved

The Laramie Plains Museum also hosts other fun events throughout the year. According to the website their museum hours when tours are available, are Tuesday- Saturday from 12:30-5:30pm, with tickets being $10 for adults and $5 for students. The museum also holds their annual Victorian Teas in the summer months – I have heard these teas are quite beautiful and lots of fancy fun. These teas are also historically themed. The Ivinson Mansion will hold an art festival during Jubilee Days in the summer. And of course the mansion grounds are available to rent for special occasions like weddings and other gatherings.

If you are interested in being part of the museum staff they are always looking for volunteers, which is a very fun and rewarding experience as well a great learning experience; I was a docent at the museum for several summers (so trust me you’ll never forget all the fun and little details about the mansion).

Mary Mountain has done an excellent job of making the Laramie Plains Museum active in the community! There is something for everyone at the Ivinson Mansion, I strongly encourage everyone to check it out, and there’s no better time than the Holiday Open House!

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