News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 5, 2013

Window shop on Wabash Dec. 8 at Historical Museum

The Vigo County Historical Museum is offering an opportunity to “magically” window shop on Wabash Avenue. The past will come to life in this year’s holiday exhibit called “Christmas on Wabash Avenue,” which will feature two large department store windows decorated as those which attracted shoppers for so long.

The “Schultz Department Store” window will be filled with toys that boys and girls might have put on their wish list. Elegant evening wear for women is the center of attraction in the “Meis” window, which is copied from a photograph in a framed collage presented to Walter Sommers at the time of his retirement. Between the two windows, ropes of silver tinsel, with a wreath in the center, are draped, reminiscent of those that were fashioned over Wabash Avenue. Department store advertisements, photographs, boxes bearing names of former popular stores, and all sorts of memorabilia are also displayed.

The museum has scheduled its annual Holiday Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. The community is urged to stop by for refreshments, Christmas music, the exhibits, and to look back to a time when Christmas shopping was centered on Wabash Avenue, in the heart of Terre Haute.

The museum’s “Christmas on Wabash” display brings back the Optimist Club booth, the Kiwanis Club newsboy, Christmas Seals and other traditions which took place during the holidays while downtown was bustling with shoppers.

The entire Historical Museum is decked out in its holiday finery, from the lighted garland twining through the winding staircase in the entry hall to the array of trees sparkling with colored lights and ornaments. Other exhibits are centered on holiday themes with displays of “Jewelry, Santa’s Best Gift,” “The Weather Outside is Frightful” and “Let It Snow.”

This year, the museum in one of the collection points for “Toys for Tots,” which is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Unwrapped toys can be brought to the museum at Sixth Street and Washington Avenue and left in one of the large boxes. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

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