By MARCIA LANE
PALATKA — At Christmas time each year the Palatka Art League transforms the Historic Tilghman House into Holiday House. They turn it into a place to find that perfect holiday gift and to give others a chance to appreciate the artistic ability of their neighbors.
Yes, it’s area artists and crafters who provide the hundreds of items you’ll find for sale. Jewelry, bird feeders, quilts, carved items, stained glass, handmade place mats, wood burning art, paintings, prints, knitted caps and fingerless gloves are just a few of the items that fill the two-story house on River Street. Christmas ornaments, wreathes and displays — all for sale — turn the house festive and offer shoppers new decor for their homes. If that sounds like a lot, remember the house has eight rooms of items.
The house is owned by the City of Palatka, but leased to the Art League. It’s located at 324 River St. and is one of the former homes of the Tilghman family, who have been active in Palatka since its early days. An orange grove once surrounded it.
While the Art League uses it throughout the year, beginning around Thanksgiving each year the League turns it into Holiday House and offers a unique shopping experience. When you buy something, you’re just as likely to find the person taking your money or credit card is one of the artists.
The house is in its final week of sales and will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a..m. to 5 p.m. Last day is Dec. 23. Admission is free as is the parking lot next door.
For more information, call 386-325-8750.
Part of each year’s Holiday House celebration in Palatka is the introduction of a special ornament that has its to Putnam County.
This year Angel’s Dining Car is featured on the ornament. The silver car is reportedly the older diner in Florida and a familiar site to anyone who drives Reid Street (U.S. 17). The original owner and namesake of the 1930s restaurant was Porter Angel. These days its owned by John Browning and Diane Browning. Through the years everyone has stopped in from locals who come daily to Gadabout Gaddis, Pat Boone and Billy Graham.
Artist Linda Tucker created the watercolor that was used on the ornament. She’s a self-taught artist who paints in all mediums. The ornament is on sale at the Tilghman House. It’s a tradition that began some 20 years when artist Kathleen Kelch created the first ornament — with the Tilghman House as the first subject.