The Salem Museum celebrates the season with a ‘Christmas in the 1940s’ living history event, a holiday-themed model train, decorations, and Gift Shop full of goodies. The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 to 4, but closed December 24-28 for Christmas, and December 31 through January 4 for New Year’s. Masks and social distancing are required.
On Saturday, December 19, from 10 am to 4 pm, the 24th Virginia Infantry Living Historians will provide a glimpse of how Christmas was celebrated during the 1940s. The holiday season of 1945 was particularly joyful, with the most destructive conflict in human history having ended just a few months earlier.
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the Salem Museum will host a display of military and home front artifacts from the 1940s, and show some of the ways that service members fought boredom and homesickness. The display will include decorations, cards, period music, and soldiers’ gifts, plus souvenirs and captured war trophies brought back by the victorious troops.
The Museum’s annual Christmas Train is back, and bigger than ever. The vintage American Flyer layout rolls back in time to the charming village of “Plasticville,” set in the 1950s and ’60s. In addition to the trains and buildings of all sorts–including an airport–there’s an interesting cast of little characters, playing in the snow. The layout has a number of hidden gems to discover. Look for a helpful bear, a prehistoric predator, a mysterious machine, and many other unexpected additions to delight all ages.
The Museum’s Gift Shop is brimming over with holiday cheer. The Salem Museum is known for its collectible ornament series celebrating Salem, its wide-ranging collection of books on local and regional history, and fun holiday décor and gifts.
The 2020 Salem history ornament celebrates the 300th birthday of Salem’s Revolutionary War hero, General Andrew Lewis. Also still in stock are the Courthouse/West Hall, Salem City Seal, Lakeside Amusement Park, Carver School, Preston Place, Salem Farmers Market, Longwood, and the Salem Museum.
Shop Local: every purchase helps support the mission of the Salem Museum. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.
- Submitted by Frances Ferguson, Salem Museum Executive Director