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Attendees of Christmas at the Mansion enjoy the scenery and vendors in 2020. (contributed photo)

The Berclair Mansion is usually only open on the last Sunday of every month. However, the Berclair Mansion will open its doors every Sunday during the month of December.

Attendees can enjoy tours of the mansion every Sunday every hour between 1-3 p.m. Guests should be prepared to arrive early. No further guests will be accommodated after 2:45 p.m.

Along with these usual tours, Christmas at the Mansion was held on Dec. 5. Christmas at the Mansion is a fundraising event designed to provide for the upkeep of the mansion. These fundraising events have been held for the past five years.

Attendees were able to purchase tickets for a lunch at the mansion, or purchase a ticket to enjoy the many vendors selling their wares at the mansion. Attendees who purchase this type of ticket were also able to walk through the Berclair Mansion.

Vendors included woodworkers, wreath sellers, candlemakers and clothing vendors.

After The Beeville Art Association took stewardship of the property, the Berclair Mansion officially opened its doors to tours back in 2001 and has been operating ever since.

The Beeville Art Association takes their stewardship of the Berclair Mansion very seriously.

Kay Mix, the historian for the Beeville Art Association, says the mansion means a lot to her personally.

“It’s like my home,” said Mix. “I grew up spending my summers and holidays in Berclair. My grandparents owned a store. ... We would spend our summers with our grandparents. We would deliver groceries throughout the town and we would go up to the mansion and deliver groceries. ... There was always cookies, cake, punch, milk or a coke waiting for us. We got to play in the mansion. It feels like home to me. Berclair seems like home to me.”

Mix has fond memories of her time in Berclair. She spent summers and holidays there until 1961, when her grandfather passed away.

Built in 1936 by Lauretta Terrel, the mansion was constructed out of steel and concrete to fireproof the mansion. Her previous childhood home had burned down, a fate she wanted to avoid in her future residence.

Once the mansion was completed, Terrel invited everyone who had assisted in constructing her home to a Thanksgiving dinner.

The Berclair Mansion is a hotbed of history. Even the newest piece of furniture in the Berclair Mansion is 85 years old, however, the vast majority of objects inside the mansion date back to the 18th century.

“Walking through the mansion, when you look at it, you sit in awe of what you see.”

Mix is passionate about her work with the Berclair Mansion and loves to see people experiencing the rich history surrounding the mansion.

Tours will continue to be held every Sunday on Dec. 12, 19 and 26. After the start of the new year, the Berclair Mansion will be open for tours during the last Sunday of every month.

•mtamez@mysoutex.com•

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