by Sarah A. Peterson
As the holidays beckon amid a swirl of falling leaves and sparkling frost, Fresno’s historic Meux Home Museum is gearing up for Christmas with its upcoming holiday tours and its annual Victorian Christmas Tea. Kings River Life spoke with Meux Home Museum president Quintin Hoskins about the Home and the holidays.
KRL: Who was the Meux family, and what is their place in Fresno’s history?
Quintin Hoskins: The Meux family came to fit into the fabric of Fresno during the land boom of 1888. Dr. Thomas Richard Meux of Tennessee moved his family to Fresno, on the advice of his brother, after hearing of Fresno’s dry climate, which was important for the doctor’s wife Mary, also known as Molly. Mrs. Meux suffered from consumption, now known as tuberculosis.
KRL: What is the history of the house itself?
Quintin Hoskins: The Meux Home was built in 1888 from two catalogue homes. The house was constructed of redwood, and was once located on the outskirts of town. The Tennessee-bred family stayed at the Southern Pacific Hotel until building was completed in January 1889, after which time they moved in. And while Dr. Meux oversaw the construction of the house, the design elements were Molly’s domain.
KRL: How long has the Meux Home Museum been open to the public?
Quintin Hoskins: The Meux Home Museum is fast approaching its 40th anniversary as a historic home that is open for both public and private tours.
KRL: What special events does the Meux Home have planned for the holidays?
Quintin Hoskins: We will be hosting our Victorian Christmas Tea on Saturday, December 10, with two sittings, one at 11:30 a.m., and the second at 1:30 p.m.
KRL: What other events does the Meux host throughout the year?
Quintin Hoskins: We plan and host many different events during the year, including weddings, birthdays, Vintage Days at the Meux, docent yard sale, wine tastings, and the Mother’s Day Victorian Garden Tea, to name just a few.
KRL: How did the Meux family celebrate Christmas, and how have those traditions been carried on into the present?
Quintin Hoskins: The Meux family would gather in the front parlor to decorate a fresh Christmas tree that would be lit by candles, but caution had to be exercised to prevent the house from burning down. They would keep a mop and bucket by the tree in case of an emergency. We try to keep an example out to show our guests how it would have been done.
KRL: When do holiday tours begin, and how long will they be going on?
For more information on the Meux Home Museum and its holiday schedule, please visit www.meux.mus.ca.us.
Meux Home Museum
1007 R. Street
Fresno, CA 93710
The Meux Home Museum – Facebook