Ghosts of Christmas past: Adamson House night tour


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

At the 1930 Adamson House on the Malibu coast, the table has been set with red and green crystal. Holiday cards are displayed on a ribbon board. In the bedrooms, mannequins in fine fashions offer a glimpse of how residents may have dressed for holiday gatherings long, long ago. That’s docent Karen Himes, above, working on a Christmas tree set atop the home’s Malibu tile ‘rug,’ complete with simulated fringe.

Come December, visitors get a once-a-year chance to experience the house as the Adamson family did, in the silence and solitude of the Malibu night. Special night tours, which begin with holiday refreshments and end with each guest receiving a hand-crafted tile as a gift, are scheduled for Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18.


You can see Veronique de Turenne’s article on the holiday tours as well as a roundup on some other seasonal festivities in historic homes. Or keep reading for a few more scecnes from the Adamson House ...

Judy Merrick balances on a ladder to decorate the tree in the living room.

Glass ornaments frame the window.

Docent Dorothy Kelley reaches for another bulb to decorate a tree.

Sally Underwood dresses the dining table.

Cookies rest on a cooling rack, just as if the Adamson’s had just finished baking. The recipe card details a family original: prune cake.

The Adamson House’s special holiday night tours will start at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18. These tours cost $15 and include refreshment and a small souvenir. Reservations and prepayment are required.

The regular Adamson House tours are offered 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, last tour at 2 p.m. These tickets are $2 to $5, cash only; children 5 and younger are free, and no reservations are needed.

(310) 456-8432

Photo credits: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times


99 home and garden gifts