Tea and history: 28th year for fundraiser supporting preservation in Harrodsburg

Published 5:24 pm Monday, November 25, 2019

Marian Bauer says although this is the 28th year for the Christmas Tea, a spread of food and drinks that brings in money for preservation, it’s the first time there is no Homes Tour planned in conjunction. This year’s event is planned for Dec. 6-7.

“But the beautifully decorated Tea Room at Morgan Row has always been a pleasant experience,” says Bauer, a Harrodsburg Historical Society member and a longtime coordinator of the event.

“To think one can dine in a row house built between 1807 and 1830, by Joseph Morgan, and reputed to be the oldest, west of the Allegheny Mountains is an event worth doing!”

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The Historical Society continues its fundraising efforts to make sure the row house is kept nicely, and for good reason.

“This major fundraiser helps support the upkeep and maintenance of this historic building, which houses the meeting rooms, museum display artifacts” and a genealogical library, Bauer says.

And that library houses an extensive and well-known collection of research material, she says, including familie files, newspapers, photographs and original court documents and publications.

Bauer says this year’s menu includes a lot of the traditional favorites crowds always return to get: oyster stew, vegetable soup and chili, for example. Of course, the country ham and chicken salads, pimento cheese and olive nut spread sandwiches are back on the menu. Those who partake can also opt for hot spiced tea, coffee, lemonade or iced tea.

“As always, the menu is one that is hearty and diners will go away sufficiently filled,” Bauer says. The festive holiday decorations put up every year by volunteers always offer an added cheer for patrons, she says.

Volunteers also provide a plethora of assorted desserts, and the meal can be carried out, with phone-ahead order options, or eaten inside the historical building.

“The dining takes place in the very spot that John G. Chiles, son-in-law of Morgan and for whom the street is named, opened a popular tavern which became the connecting point for mail and stage coach routes,” Bauer says. “In the large dining room between the two fireplaces is the original sideboard of the tavern.

Yes, the event takes a lot of organization, community involvement and volunteers to support, Bauer says, but it’s all worth it, every single year. The Historical Society aims to keep people informed on what the building, and the whole city means to those who love it and are proud.

“Harrodsburg is the oldest permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains,” Bauer says. “And Morgan Row is an integral part of our commonwealth’s history.”

IF YOU GO: The 28th annual Christmas Tea Room will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6 and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Morgan Row, 220 S. Chiles St. in Harrodsburg. The event benefits the Harrodsburg Historical Society’s preservation of the historical building, located directly behind the Judicial Center. Carry-out will also be available; place orders by calling (859) 734-5985.