Thirty volunteers are working to prepare the Vaile Mansion in Independence for its annual holiday celebrationThe beautiful landmark home will have more than its halls decked from Nov. 29-Dec. 30, when it hosts a “Victorian Winter Wonderland.” They are adding lights to over 50 trees, as well as readying 31 rooms, nine marble fireplaces, and a 48,000-gallon wine cellar. Vaile Mansion, built in 1881 for Col. and Mrs. Harvey Vaile, is one of the best examples of Second Empire architecture in the U.S., cost more than $100,000 to complete. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the holidays, the mansion retains its Victorian charm by ensuring era-appropriate traditions are honored. One such example is a five-foot-tall Christmas tree hung upside down to replicate the look of a chandelier; it’s found in the grand entryway. In 2012, visitors from 20 countries were represented in the guestbook. The twilight tours include live music and refreshments for attendees. Victorian Winter Wonderland tours at Vaile Mansion are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for ages 6-18; and free for children ages 5 and younger.
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