Christmas at the Mansion: Timeless Traditions


This holiday season in Nebraska City, Nebraska, guests of Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm are invited to “Christmas at the Mansion,” a unique opportunity to experience what the holidays were like during J. Sterling Morton’s era. Arbor Lodge, the 52-room mansion, is decorated in its Christmas best and ready to help visitors get into the spirit of the season with vintage décor, special holiday-themed collections on display, tour hosts in period clothing, and other one-of-a-kind touches that make for a memorable wintertime visit.


Red poinsettias and Christmas greens flank the grand staircase at Arbor Lodge, J. Sterling Morton’s 52-room mansion in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Christmas at the Mansion is available weekends through Dec. 20, 2015 — Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, with an exclusive after-hours look at the mansion also available from 6:30-8:00 pm; and Sundays, 11am to 5pm. Admission ranges from $4 to $10 per person.

The Morton Family regularly hosted dignitaries and well-known guests in their home, and the mansion was often a haven for close friends and extended family during the Christmas season — where music and laughter often filled the halls, where lavish meals were served, and where traditions were kept.                                                                                        

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The Morton Family and distinguished guests gathered at Arbor Lodge for lavish holiday dining, complete with Christmas crackers, similar to the ones shown here.

However – and perhaps not surprisingly – J. Sterling himself was vehemently outspoken against the practice of cutting down healthy trees for Christmas décor purposes. A November 1899 edition of Morton’s three-column weekly newspaper, The Conservative, railed against the tradition, calling it the “mutilation and destruction of the young pine forests,” and adding that “the future generations will want for lumber which these Christmas trees would have made.”

 Regardless of where you stand on the issue of real vs. artificial trees, if you find yourself in Nebraska City, Nebraska, this holiday season, the Christmas at the Mansion experience is one not to be missed. We welcome you to step back in time and see the magic of the holidays through the lens of this distinguished family, and take home some memories of your own.

Complete details about Christmas at the Mansion are available online here.