This floor was the principal entertaining area in the house, with two large rooms: the Music Room and the Library.
The Library served many functions: as an office for Charles Gibson Sr., a family room, and an entertaining space. After a meal, the men in the party might gather in the library for drinks and conversation. The stereopticon—a nineteenth-century slide projector seen on the table in the middle of the room—was a popular way to tell stories with images, typically of natural wonders or notable historic places, before movies were invented.
Although we often associate the Christmas holiday with large and decorative Christmas trees, did you know that during the Victorian era, Christmas trees would have originally been smaller table-toppers, like the one by the window?! In fact, Christmas wasn't widely celebrated in Boston until the Victorian era. Because of the city's Puritan heritage, Christmas wouldn’t become a recognized legal holiday in Massachusetts until 1856! The Victorian era was when Christmas became a celebration focused on domesticity and enjoyment for children.
The Music Room
The Music Room, also known as the drawing room in many Victorian houses, is the largest room in the house, and would have been the primary space for entertaining. Family and friends from the neighborhood retired here after dinner for musical or theatrical entertainment, often put on by the Gibson children themselves. This was the space designed to best show off the family’s wealth and sophistication.
Enjoy a cookie and take in some of the decor!
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