Sturdivant Hall to host Photos with Santa.

Published 11:09 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Sturdivant Hall Museum is gearing up for a festive celebration with its Photos with Santa event slated for Saturday, Dec. 3, from 1-3 p.m. The grounds of Sturdivant Hall will provide a backdrop to Santa on his antique sleigh for a memorable photo opportunity.

Visitors can enjoy the holiday spirit for an admission fee of $10 plus $5 per child. In addition to the photo session, visitors can enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, and a delightful craft for children. Coordinated by Laurie Manderson, along with fellow board members Tamara Hanning and Beth Howell, the trio said they are excited for the event.

“It’s going to be such a fun event for the children. They’re going to make reindeer food, and we’ll have elves around to help them,” Manderson said.

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The museum’s gift shop will open during the event to offer holiday decorations, ornaments, nativity scenes, and more. Visitors can also enter a drawing for a chance to win a prize. The drawing will continue through Dec. 6.

Residents   unable to join the event on Dec. 3 can still experience the festive atmosphere as Sturdivant Hall begins decorating for the Christmas season the following day. After decking the halls with a Christmas tree featuring decorations made by local children, live plants, and period-correct greenery and centerpieces, the museum will host a free open house Dec. 8-9.

Mary Margaret Mims, the Museum Director, shared her enthusiasm for what she hopes will become a beloved Selma tradition.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun having the children running around here on the grounds with Santa and the elves,” Mims said. “We hope everyone will come out, see Santa, and just have an afternoon of fun.”  

An online museum guide at www.whichmuseum.com, gives a summary of the significance of Sturdivant Hall.  Also known as the Watts-Parkman-Gillman home, Sturdivant Hall is a historic Greek Revival mansion located at 713 Mabry Street.  The home finished construction in 1856 for Colonel Edward T. Watts and was designed by Thomas Helm Lee.

 In 1973 the hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance. The property is currently managed by the Sturdivant Museum Association, the City of Selma, and Dallas County. The museum holds many annual events, such as the annual Barbecue on the Green, and offers daily tours. Proceeds from museum fundraisers are used to maintain and repair both the building and the grounds.