Ever wonder what it would be like to go back in history and celebrate the holiday season in simpler, less hectic times? The Monroe Historical Society has the answer with its Christmas on the Corner event.

The event will take place 5-8 p.m. Dec. 12-13 in the Monroe Historical Society’s main museum, 10 E. Elm St., in Monroe. Vintage decorations will adorn the comfy interior as holiday music plays throughout the organization’s Williamsburg, Va., Chickahominy house replica.

The free event also includes photos of the kids with Santa and Mrs. Claus. “It’s kind of nice to have your kids’ picture taken with Santa without having to pay an arm and a leg for it,” says Monroe Historical Society President Christina McElfresh.

Visitors will be able to tour the main museum and the historical society’s refurbished 1910 general store and museum located next door, says McElfresh.

The general store museum has a history as a general store, soda shop, pizza parlor, dress shop, and Monroe’s interim city building in the 1990s, she says. It has been renovated and decorated as a general store, with items such as an old sled, toys and advertising, says McElfresh.

Jim Price, one of the Monroe Historical Society’s board members, donated the property to the organization, she says. Price also discovered an invaluable historical cache in 1965 when he saw boxes of what he thought were old window frames in a small shed at the back of the old Warner family’s residence. 

What he found were not window frames but hundreds of 5-by-7 glass negatives for photographs taken around 1900 of the Monroe area by Marion Warner. Warner once owned the property where the Monroe Historical Society’s main museum is located and the general store building.

McElfresh says all the glass negatives have been digitally scanned and have proven to be important to the society’s research. “By zooming into these pictures and seeing signs … it kind of allowed us to research a little bit further. So thanks to Jim Price we have that history, because he noticed them and saved them, pulled them right out of the garbage.”

Although it wasn’t pulled out of the garbage, the third museum operated by the historical society was pulled out of a field, says McElfresh. It’s the organization’s log cabin, originally built in the late 1700s or early 1800s, and now reassembled in Monroe’s Community Park.

The log cabin is decorated as a pioneer cabin, with a rope bed, a fireplace and hearth, cast iron pots and a loft, she says.

All three of the historical society’s museums are open year-round, excluding holidays, by appointment. “Anybody can give us a call and say we’d like to see all three museums,” says McElfresh. Call 513-539-2270 for more information.