Cheryl St.John: Christmas at the Historic General Crook House

‘Tis the season to admire Christmas trees! Oh, how I love decorated trees. Never get my fill. I enjoy them so much that each year readers and authors send me photos of their trees and I post them on my blog all through December.

Today I’m sharing photos taken at the General Crook House in Fort Omaha. It’s a lovely historic home, and though the furnishing aren’t original, the home and decor have been restored and furnished with items true to the time period.

The one above on the left is on an upstairs bathroom. Many of the trees included themes from nature.

On the right above is a tree standing in one of the main rooms at the front of the house.

This one below left is in Mrs. Crook’s bedroom. It is decorated with White House ornaments that the historical society collects and adds to each year. Notice the red and white quilt on the bed. Ever notice how small those beds were? Men and women were MUCH smaller a hundred years ago.

If you want to see more trees throughout the month, check them out at The Annual Christmas Tree Tour:

You’ll note one decorated with flags.

There were so many trees to admire!

This piano is in the formal dining room.

And now just for fun I’ll add interesting furniture and architecture. Enjoy!

Purples lovers will dig this decor!

There are two chairs and two footstools in the study made with horns!

Animal heads hang on the walls – I didn’t take any pics of those.

General Crook would have loved Cabellas. lol

Hope you’re getting into the Christmas spirit.

Please send me a photograph of your Christmas tree and a paragraph about it or about your family’s  Christmas traditions.

I would love to feature YOUR tree on The Great Christmas Tree Tour.

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25 thoughts on “Cheryl St.John: Christmas at the Historic General Crook House”

  1. Such fun! We won’t have our tree up until December 12th, my birthday. We started the tradition of the family decorating the tree on my birthday a few years ago when the kids started alternating Christmas Day with their significant others and their families. It is a special time when we can get everyone together.

    Best part, I don’t have to decorate the tree!

    On that day, my daughter and I put out our Fontanini nativity collected since my husband and I were married thirty years ago. Every year, my daughter and I decide what piece or figure we will add. Usually it is something that is significant to the year or reminds us of someone in our family. Yes, it is a huge collection.

    Folks may not enjoy their December birthdays getting lost in the Christmas crush but I love having the traditions that have been created because of mine.

    Peace, Julie

  2. Hi Cher, I totally want to live here. And I so love that purple tree! I’ll try to send a pic of our tree but it isn’t up yet.

    Great post. Really got me in the Christmas spirit. oxoxo

  3. We’re behind with Christmas decorations, too. Although, lately it seems you’re behind if you don’t have them up after Halloween. Maybe we’ll get everything down from the attic this weekend. Now that the kids are old enough to help, it’s more fun and less work. Love that!

    Cheryl, I just finished Chloe and Owen’s story in Western Winter Wedding Bells. Loved that old church restoration and the two couples it brought together. I’ve always been partial to stories where spinsters find love. It seems they appreciate it more when they think their chances have passed them by. Great read! Now I get to start the other two in the anthology. Hooray for Christmas novellas!

  4. Lovely photos, Cheryl. I’ve long been fascinated by General Crook. When he was hunting Apaches they called him the Grey Fox. Instead of a horse, he rode a mule, and wore his own version of a uniform that was sort of baggy and comfortable. He actually did catch Geronimo but when the crafty warrior got away, Crook either quit or was replaced.
    As for Christmas trees – you know me by now. I’ll haul the pieces my tree out of their box about Dec. 20. But your Christmas tree page is a lovely tradition. Hugs.

  5. Julie, I loved hearing your Christmas traditions. Now don’t forget to send me a pic of your nativity!

    Hi Tanya. I heard from someone who has a purple tree up, but not decorated – the TREE itself is purple. She’ll be sending me a pic as soon as it’s decorated, so you’ll have to check my blog for it. Smooches!

    Hi Karen. I am mortified when I see the Christmas stuff in stores the day after Halloween. Thank YOU so much for letting me know you enjoyed Owen and Chloe’s story. I actually plotted and wrote that story in 18 days. It just flowed right out without a snag. If only that could happen every time. :::sigh:::

    Elizabeth, I should do a blog on the old fellow one of these days. He is interesting. I have more photos of his home at Fort Omaha. SO glad you enjoy seeing the trees on the tour!

  6. You didn’t include the tree decorated with ZEBRAs, Cheryl? What’s up with that?
    Nothing says Merry Christmas like a ZEBRA.

    It’s a beautiful house isn’t it? I got to go with Cheryl when we went to the General Crook House.

    The whole house is just so beautiful. The heavy woodwork and high ceilings.

    I got there ahead of Cheryl and greeted her at the door. For a few seconds I got to pretend it was my house.


    Not enough dust for it to be my house, though.

  7. << Not enough dust for it to be my house, though. >>

    LOL I hear you. My critique group is coming tomorrow and my house is a disaster. Yet here I sit.

    I didn’t post the dead birds under glass either. I will post the zebra tree on my blog in a few days.

  8. It’s vanished, but I’m sure it was there before?

    I love the natural decorations. I once saw the main tree in teh Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and it was decorated with deer antlers and pheasant feathers and pine cones and berries. It was so beautiful.

    I need to get me some antlers!!!!

    Do they have those at WalMart? Because I’m NOT going hunting. It’s cold outside

  9. They have a LOT of antlers at Cabellas. Elijah and I were there to buy a pocket knife for a gift, and of course we had to look at every hunting knife and stuffed animal up close and personal. Those dear are absolutely beautiful … but sadly, very dead.

  10. Very interesting house! I enjoyed all the pictures, especially the ones of their Xmas trees. I can’t believe they have one in the bathroom!! OMG! And I love the one decked out in purple, that being my favorite color. I hope you get tons of interesting trees in your tour this year.

  11. Hi Cheryl, Thanks for all the help getting me into the Christmas spirit. I just finished Western Winter Wedding Bells and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some holiday reading.
    I loved Chloe & Owen’s story, and I liked that you had a secondary romance involving a slightly older couple. With all of us baby boomers getting older, I would think there would be a big market for stories with older characters.
    Beautiful house, beautiful trees. Didn’t Chloe have a feather tree? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. And did General Crook have indoor plumbing or was that a more recent addition?

  12. Never thought of putting peacock feathers on the tree. I have a basketful from my three India Blues. I’ll have to see if it works with the one we put up in the family room.
    Love the details of the house. Ours is an 1898 farmhouse, so the woodwork details are rather plain. Actually, I am rather surprised how poor the wood is that was used in the floors and details. The builders owned a lumber mill and had access to whatever they wanted. The framing of the house is solid, sturdy 2 by 8 to 2 by 14 oak. The floors must have been put down green since there are 1/4 to 3/4 inch gaps between some of the boards.
    Sorry, off topic. Love the trees. When we aren’t torn up doing renovations, we usually have 3 or 4. When we finish I have little ones for the guest bedrooms, our Victorian one for the parlor, a small one for the dining room and one for the family room. This year we may only be putting out one of the little ones in the family room. Thanks for the lovely pictures. I can at least enjoy everyone else’s trees.

    Have a great December.

  13. Beautiful trees. The only thing we have up right now are lights. And not too many of those. I am truly fascinated with the furniture. How lovely.My picture at the top is gone, too. What happened? Or is there a ghost in that house?

  14. Cheryl, love the trees, especially the purple one. The fun part about Christmas trees is how they characterize us. (Considering the rather odd trees I put up each year, that’s also the scary part.)

    Thank you for sharing!

  15. Those are some wonderful pics! I do not know how comfortable that chair with horns would be!
    Slowly putting up our decorations… no tree yet.

  16. Once, during a wedding in the Victorian Rose Garden, I fainted. You can’t see me actually collapse on the video, but you can see all the guests gasp and clutch their faces. In my defense, it was about 110 degrees and we had to stand for, like, 45 minutes. I haven’t been back to the General Crook house since. The pictures are lovely, though….

  17. Judy, I like the idea of more mature characters, too. You are spot on about the baby boomer generation.

    I am guessing the plumbing was a later addition to the bathrooms. They do show a wooden sort of toilet in Mrs. Crook’s bedroom. And there are chamber pots under the beds.

  18. Patricia, truth be told, I’m doing the same thing this year, and enjoying everyone else’s trees. We have an 11-month-old this Christmas, so everything is put up high or gated off or barricaded. Me the queen of Christmas trees will only have a small one – and my Village houses out.

    I did put up and decorate 5 trees at church, though, so I’m not having withdrawals…yet.

  19. Hi Mary J. Sometimes that tree is there and sometimes it’s gone! weird

    Margaret, DO send me a picture of your tree this year!

    Cheri, leave it to you to have an experience at the General Crook House to tell of. lol Sorry you fainted, but the telling is funny.

    Hi Estella! Waving a Merry Christmas across the miles.

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