SALISBURY — To commemorate the holidays, the Historic Salisbury Foundation has organized multiple Christmas guided tours during the month of December at the Historic Hall House, where people can walk around the 200-year-old building and gaze at a vast array of wonderful decorations.
Normally, Hall House offers a special tour on Christmas Eve, but the foundation decided to do it on Dec. 23 instead since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year. Earlier in the month, the foundation had an open house to allow volunteers the opportunity to decorate each room with trees, ribbons, lights and garland.
On Saturday afternoon, patrons learned about Hall House’s fascinating history while being simultaneously reminded of the Christmas season. Rochelle Boratko, a tour guide at Hall House, was quite impressed with how all of the rooms turned out.
“This is the nicest I’ve ever seen it decorated,” Boratko said. “They really did it up big…They really did a fantastic job.” Later on in the day, Hall House also had a live reading of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Read by Jonathan Coarsey Wallace, people of all ages packed into the downstairs parlor to hear the story of Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by three spirits on the night before Christmas. Wallace dressed up as Dickens and spoke in a British accent as he told a condensed version of the story, with the assistance of a few members of the audience, that took less than an hour to finish.
Wallace, a former actor, has been performing “A Christmas Carol” for the last 15 years and he still gets excited when he embodies the eclectic roles from the book.
“Playing all of the different characters. I love playing Scrooge and I’ve never gotten the actual opportunity to play Scrooge outside something I didn’t produce myself,” Wallace said.
Mariel Cooke attended the reading because she thought it would be fun to see for herself and she couldn’t have had a better time.
“It was phenomenal,” Cooke said. “Him as Scrooge, I think that was my favorite part, just watching him portray Scrooge.”
Boratko said Hall House will not be having anymore tours until March 2024.