Hyde Hall to celebrate Mother's Day

ContributedThe Tin Top Gatehouse at Hyde Hall will open Saturday as a gift shop as part of the site's Mother's Day celebration.

This year, Hyde Hall will offer an early Mother’s Day celebration on Saturday complete with a special event.

The annual Celebrate Mom! Garden Party is free, kicking off Hyde Hall’s 2015 season of community events.

The day will start at 11 a.m. with state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, presiding over the grand opening of the Tin Top Gatehouse. Seward helped obtain the grant, which was used to re-purpose the gatehouse into Hyde Hall’s ticket office, bookstore and exhibit space.

Built around 1821, according to Jonathan Maney, Hyde Hall director, the preserved gatehouse may be the oldest gatehouse in New York state.

As a new welcome center, Maney said he sees it as a way to orient visitors to the Hyde Hall experience.

After the ribbon-cutting for the newly restored Tin Top, the crowd is welcome to move to the mansion and its lawn. Volunteers and board members are contributing baked goodies this year. Fliss Blum will pour tea from her silver tea set. Blum is the wife of board member and past chairman Andy Blum. The two have done wonderful work over the years in their support of Hyde Hall, Maney said, ensuring the place is in good shape.

In addition to the traditional tea, guests are welcome to tour the ground floor great and family rooms furnished with a collection of antiques, paintings and decorative arts from the period.

At 1:30 p.m., children and adults will dance around a Maypole festooned in colorful ribbons outside on the lawn, and then, at 2 p.m., Jill Maney, a textile historian who has been involved with historic sites such as Historic Deerfield, Eastfield Village and Old Sturbridge Village, will present the newly installed ingrain Venetian carpet in Hyde Hall’s central staircase.

She will lecture on the carpet, explaining the process by which it was chosen, the research that was done, the historical examples that were considered and copied and the production. The 80-plus yards of carpet were woven in Sharon Springs at Thistle Hill Weavers on authentic looms to cover the central staircase and hallways in the Great House. Dave and Charlene Hunt of Vermont Custom Carpets installed the carpeting.

“The carpet was just installed and we’re very proud of it. It looks wonderful. It’s brought back a lot of color and life to the Hyde Hall interior,” Maney said. “This is part of our program. It’s a new initiative to carpet the house as it was in order to better communicate the degree of luxury, comfort and elegance that was here.”

Hyde Hall was built by George Clarke (1768-1835). The house with nearly 50 rooms is located on the grounds of Glimmerglass State Park. 

“It’s a chance to get acquainted with what we have to offer to the community,” Maney said. “Outreach is so much a part of what we do and what we need to do to communicate with everyone how many events we host during the season.”

Tours of the mansion and grounds go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting May 26. 

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