Through the years, there have been a variety of holiday traditions that residents of Perry Hall have been able to participate in during these festive days of Christmas. As readers of Perry Hall Patch settle down to celebrate the season with family members, friends, and neighbors, let's take a look at some of the ways in which our community has commemorated this holiday.
One of the more unique traditions that existed in Perry Hall was associated with the Plummer family, residents of Perry Hall Mansion from 1924 until 1948. Through those years, William and Eva Plummer lived at the mansion with their three children—daughters Sybilla and Mary—and their son Adam. The Plummer family actively pursued farming on the 204 acres of land that surrounded their home, along with running a successful sawmill operation.
The Plummer family was particular fond of going all-out for their celebration of the Christmas season. William Plummer always put a great deal of effort into building a train garden in one of the second floor bedchambers. He would send his three children down to the banks of the nearby Gunpowder River to collect moss from the rocks that would be used as grass in the train garden. William Plummer made a special effort during the World War II years to be sure that soldiers who were mustering at nearby Kahl’s field received a personal invitation to visit Perry Hall Mansion and see his elaborate train garden.
In more recent years, the Perry Hall Improvement Association has helped to kick-off our celebration of the holiday season. Ever since 1990, the association has sponsored a tree lighting ceremony in partnership with Perry Hall Elementary School. For a number of years, I had the pleasure of helping to coordinate this event. During that time we were able to arrange for art classes at the elementary school to prepare ornaments to be displayed on the community tree.
Another very recent tradition has allowed for the community to once again enjoy Christmastime at Perry Hall Mansion. For three years now, Historic Perry Hall Mansion has sponsored a holiday gathering at the mansion that has featured festive decorations, live seasonal music, and community fellowship.
For 2012, thanks in large measure to the efforts of County Councilman David Marks, Historic Perry Hall Mansion was proud to accept a generous $15,000 donation. The donation came from The Shelter Group and was part of a community benefit package that Councilman Marks required for the Brightview Perry Hall project. This $15,000 contribution will be used for capital projects at the mansion, specifically the painting of a large part of the mansion's main floor and other associated improvements.
Communities such as ours are at their best during times like these that allow for fun and festive gatherings. During these occasionally turbulent times, it is a good thing for all of us to embrace our shared traditions, even as we seek to build new ones that can move us into the future.