A floral tea set used by museum founder Guy B. Woodward’s mother will be among settings on display during “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner,” a fundraiser at the museum the next two weekends.
The event will feature half a dozen table settings, some which have been donated to the museum over the years. Some have been brought in for the show.
The Woodward family’s ornate jug, creamer and sugar bowl have been on display in the parlor of the Verlaque House on the museum grounds. They belonged to museum director Ken Woodward’s grandmother, Dora Woodward, in the early 1900s. Ken said he was told that she used to put milk in the jug for her children after school. The set was passed down to his parents and they displayed it in a china hutch, he said. The heirlooms are now the centerpiece of a table in the parlor, which is covered in Queen Anne lace.
“Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner” will include a viewing of the tea sets in the Verlaque House and the Barnett Barn on the property, as well as an opportunity to visit the rest of the museum grounds, Jan. 29 to 31 and Feb. 5 to 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. The entry fee will be $5. The event is not an afternoon tea; no food will be served.
Museum staff and volunteers came up with the idea to offset declining revenue.
“The money will go toward keeping this place open,” said Alice Funk, assistant to director Ken Woodward. “Business has been slow since November.”
Woodward said operating costs are about $44,500 each year. About $20,000 of that comes from county enhancement funds from hotel and motel room taxes. The rest is offset by memberships and admissions.
“The county has always been very generous to us,” Woodward said. “But with all governments struggling in the current economy, we have to think creatively.”
The antique tea settings will include one from Wynola Junction antique store, one from the Ramona store Charlotte’s in the Country, a pewter set and a Japanese tea service both from the museum’s donated collection. One will be brought in by Ramona interior designer Sharon Davis, and one will come from a Ramona Victorian tea specialist, Charlotte Hunsberger.
Guy B. Woodward Museum, operated by the Ramona Pioneer Historical Society, houses a replica of a one-room schoolhouse, a cowboy bunk house, a ranch blacksmith shop and tack room, as well as a research library, American Indian artifacts going back 2,000 years and an exhibit of women’s clothing dating back to 1700. It is at 645 Main Street. For information, call 789-7644.