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tTRYON PALACE, New Bern’s colonial aris-tocratic showcase and reconstructed royal governor’s mansion, transforms itself annually during Thanksgiving week as volunteers, general staff, and the site’s regular costumed history interpreters band together in a flurry of holiday trimming. The team creates lavish wreaths and centerpieces. They move furniture and decorate trees. They set tables, drape fabric, and design elaborate costumes as the colonial Christmas is recreated. Boxwood wreaths are embellished with holly berries, apples, dried yarrow, pomegranates, and pheasant feathers. Wreaths made with glossy magnolia leaves are dotted with tallow berries and bal-anced with a bouquet of oranges, peacock feathers, and a large pineapple. In the palace, rich cerulean crushed satin taffeta weaves through an evergreen garland on the mantel, joining above the fireplace with a painstakingly designed 3-foot tall arrangement of seasonal fruits. Below: The understated Georgian entrance to the recreated palace welcomes guests, while the ornate marble and wood fireplace in the drawing room sheds light on the palace’s collection of furniture and artifacts — many of which were purchased in England during the 1940s. Interestingly, two original plans for this room were discovered during the reconstruction, making it difficult to determine whether it was intended as a dining room or drawing room. Its proper use was later determined through a letter from Don Francisco de Miranda dated 1783. 20 WBM december 2015


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