Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

October 23, 2004 > Shinn House Christmas

Shinn House Christmas

by Heidi Leung

Christmas is fast approaching and you may ask yourself, "What are some exciting things to do in Fremont this holiday season?" Fremont has an attraction not known by many and it is buried deep within the lush trees at 1241 Peralta Blvd., heart of the city. The house was built in 1876 by nursery owner James Shinn. It is 4 1/2 acres and consists of a redwood victorian-style farmhouse as well as barracks which used to house Chinese serfs. The house is surrounded by rare shrubs and plants which James collected from all over the world.

Every Christmas, the Shinn family would decorate their home. Although the family no longer owns the house because Mrs. Shinn grew too old to take care of it, their Christmas tradition continues. Nowadays, the house is furnished by furniture from the Victorian era. The proceeds from regular tours as well as Christmas tours go towards the maintenance of this historic landmark. Reef making parties are conducted on the Saturday after Thanksgiving free of charge; unless of course, you want to make an extra reef to take home, which costs $5 (refunded upon return of reef ring). The reefs that are made are used as decoration for the 37 windows on the house. The rest of the house is decorated with kerosene lamps and electrical lighting, as well as real foliage just like the Shinns would use. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to experience Christmas in the Victorian era, when the Shinn House is decorated in its original splendor. The Christmas tour is conducted on Dec. 4th from 11a.m. -4 p.m., Dec. 5th from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., and Dec. 10th from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children 12 and under, and babies are free of charge. Book a spot on the tour by calling (510) 795-0891.

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