Gari Melchers Home and Studio to Host Holiday Tours

Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont will offer daily “Sights, Smells, Sounds and Stories: Holidays with the Melchers” 30-minute guided tours of the lavishly decorated Georgian house throughout December. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours run on the hour, starting at 10:30 a.m. and are included in the regular admission price of $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for students.

Docents will bring holidays at Belmont to life, using selections from American artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne’s diaries and letters, personal recipes and Christmas cards, photographs, and other archival material. Guest participation is encouraged by engaging all the senses.

Corinne Melchers poignantly described in a letter to her mother a grand 1921 New Year’s Day afternoon tea and dance she and her husband hosted at Belmont. Lively dance music was provided by three uniformed members of the Quantico Marine Corps band and Corinne thought that “little Francis Goolrick, aged seven, and Miss Ellen O’Bannon, aged 78, were those who enjoyed themselves the most.” Fredericksburg’s Daily Star newspaper described the event as “one of the most delightful informal social functions held in this section in recent years, and worthy of the best and oldest days of ‘Ole Virginia.’”

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 27-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center. For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1844 or visit the museum Web site at www.GariMelchers.org.