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Christmas Displays at Fountain Elms

Fountain Elms is the name of a lovely “living museum”: an historic house displaying the life of a wealthy patrician family who lived in Upstate New York in the late 1800s. There is no admission fee, and the home is open year-round. Next to Fountain Elms is Utica’s art museum, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, named for the family that lived at Fountain Elms. We have visited both Fountain Elms and the MWPI several times in the past. I wrote on the history of the building and of the family that lived there.

Fountain Elms Exterior

Fountain Elms usually all decked out for Christmas. I decided to go this time. The house is so beautiful, and the displays are very well done. You almost expect Maria or Rachel to walk into the front hall and invite you in for tea.

Front Hall

Green Chairs

FE parlor2

Table setting

Visitors are allowed to peruse the rooms as they wish; there were two groups of schoolkids on a tour at the same time I was there. The children were very quiet and well-behaved– I could barely tell they were there!

FE parlor

Fountain Elms was given over to the historical society after the last member of the family died (they left no children). The family was very wealthy and influential. They donated areas of land for the building of parks and the Utica Public Library. It is also known that one of the ladies assisted unemployed people during the Great Depression.

Fredrk and Rachel Proctor by Chartran

There is no way I could post all the photos I took, I took so many! You can see many more at my Flickr Photo Set.

FE Dining Room

They were world travelers, and had a fondness for German art, quirky collectibles (such as fans and pocket watches) and Rococco and Asian-style furniture.

I’ll have another post with many more photos, and some history, too.

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (6)

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  1. Wow! Really beautiful, and certainly worth a nice tour! 😉

  2. Carole says:

    Oh I really enjoyed the pictures, looking forward to more! So ornate, so beautiful, so much to look at!

  3. Sandi says:

    How beautiful! I absolutely love it all.

  4. Karen says:

    Oh wow! That is beautiful.

  5. John says:

    Great pictures! I have tried to take pictures there many times but they never come out like yours. Are you using a tripod? What settings are you using on your camera?

    • Hi Karen, Sandi, Carole and Fitness Diva! I agree, the place and the decorating is just beautiful! It is nice and quiet in the house, too. I am always surprised how quiet it is, despite the city traffic outside.

      Hi John! I use a Kodak z1012 point and shoot. I am very still when I snap the photos… no tripod. I’m not a great photographer, so I think the quality is more than likely the Kodak camera, which I love.