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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy of the Siloam Springs Museum An old picture of the intersection of Broadway and University Streets taken shortly after 1899 shows the Morris/Youree Hotel building on the left while the third floor and balconies were still intact. The Victorian Tea Party will be held in the Courtyard Event Center, which is in the basement of the historic building.

Siloam Springs Museum second annual Victorian Tea Party will give guests a taste of how the town looked and felt in the late 1800s.

The event is planned for 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at the Courtyard Event Center, located at 134 W. Broadway Street. It will include tea, dessert and a history presentation focusing on Siloam Springs during the time period of 1881-1900, according to Chuck McClary, director of education and community outreach for the museum.

Those who attend the party are encouraged to dress in hats and gloves, or attire from the late 1800s.

"The floppier the hat, the better," McClary said.

As part of the history presentation, guests will learn about the history of the event location. The Courtyard Event Center is in the basement of the former Morris/Youree Hotel. The building, located at the intersection of Broadway and University Streets, was originally built at the time of the town's founding in 1881 as the Bank of Siloam Springs. The exact details are a little unclear, but it is likely the three-story Morris Hotel was built on and around the corner bank as a second stage which was finished about 1899, McClary said. A couple of decades later, the building became the Youree Hotel.

The building originally had three stories with balconies all around. In 1970, a fire damaged the upper stories of the hotel and the third story became structurally unsound. The third story was removed, leaving the two story landmark visible today.

The tea party is part of the museum's effort to be more active and bring history to the community, McClary said.

"We're bringing the history out into the community of Siloam Springs," he said. "We want people to come up the hill and go the the museum itself as well because there is an essential narrative of Siloam Springs history that is displayed in the museum, but we also want to make people who have never been to the museum more aware of the history of their community as well."

Last year's tea party brought participants from across Northwest Arkansas. McClary said those who would like to attend should buy tickets as soon as possible before they sell out. The event is recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children age 8-12.

For more information call 479-524-4011 or email chuck@siloamspringsmuseum.com or don@siloamspringsmuseum.com. Tickets can be purchased by following links on the museum website, www.siloamspringsmuseum.com, and Facebook page.

General News on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: Victorian Tea Party offers taste of history

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