These unique historic homes only open for the holidays

West Virginia’s most historic homes are open for tours during the holidays— and for some of these vintage gems, it’s the only time you can get a peek inside!

The Mountain State’s historic sites mark several important eras in US history, from pre-Revolutionary War to the coal mining boom at the turn of the 20th century. Take a step back in time to experience the wonder of the holiday season at some of these historic homes.

1. Henderson Hall Plantation (Williamstown)

Dec. 3, 10 & 17, 2016

Built in 1859 by sons of Scottish immigrant Alexander Henderson, the 29-room Victorian era, Italianate-style home overlooks the Ohio River in Williamstown and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The home is open for 3 special Christmas evening tours, which include live seasonal entertainment and appetizers. Docents in period costumes will greet you before you set off on a self-guided tour of the mansion to see the Christmas trees and special displays.

Victorian silver-plate tea set, West Virginia

2. Parkersburg Victorian Christmas Homes Tour & Tea

Dec. 3-4, 2016

5 homes in Parkersburg’s Julia-Ann Square Historic District invite you to experience the holiday in all its Victorian splendor. On Saturday, take an afternoon tour or a candlelight tour– both led by guides in period attire who will share the history of the homes. A lavish Victorian Tea is included in the Saturday admission. Tours on Sunday afternoon are self-guided.

3. St. Albans Christmas Historic Homes Tour

Dec. 3, 2016

Sites on this walking tour of Antebellum homes may vary from year to year, but you can explore a selection of the city’s most intriguing historic homes and buildings, including Morgan’s Kitchen, the C&O Train Depot, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and several residences built in the 1800s in Gothic and Classic Revival style.

Rooms of Christmas trees at Adaland Mansion, West Virginia

4. Adaland Mansion Christmas Open House (Philippi)

Dec. 3. 2016

The stately brick home in Philippi is open for tours May-December, but it’s especially beautiful during the holidays. Christmas trees with different themes adorn nearly every room of the 1870 Greek Revival mansion. Stop in for special events, like holiday teas and buffets. One annual favorite is the Christmas Open House featuring Santa’s Bake Shop, with homemade cakes, breads and cookies.

5. 18th Century Christmas Tour (Prickett’s Fort and Job Prickett House)

Now through Dec. 3, 2016

The rustic fort at Prickett’s Fort State Park is a re-creation of the original fort built in 1774, which was a refuge from Native American war parties on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia. An interpreter will lead you on a tour of the 18th-century fort and the 19th century Job Prickett House. See how colonial Americans celebrated the holidays, with period décor and handmade gifts.

Victorian coal baron dining room, Bramwell, West Virginia

6. Bramwell Christmas Tour of Homes

Dec. 10, 2016

Experience Christmas in this cozy town that was once home to the most millionaires per capita in the U.S. The stately mansions built by coal barons at the turn of the 20th century reflect Victorian and Tudor styles, with leaded and stained-glass windows, wide porches, turrets and gables, and roofs made of copper, slate or tile. Interpreters will be on hand to tell stories of the early days as you marvel at the crystal chandeliers, ornate woodwork and glittering holiday décor of these grand old homes. There will be food and music along the way, too!

7. The Eckhart House (Wheeling)

Dec. 17 & 24, 2016

The Eckhart House, a 3-story Queen Anne town home built in 1892, is known as the Crown Jewel of Victorian Wheeling. The tea room has a special Holiday Tea on Dec. 17 and Christmas Tea on Dec. 24. On Saturdays, you can tour the home’s private living quarters with a local historian.

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022