Was a beloved Christmas poem born in Constableville?
CONSTABLEVILLE, New York (WWNY) - “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...”
Everyone knows the words to the classic poem. But you may not know that “all through the house” likely references Constable Hall in Constableville
“It was built by a man named William Constable,” Constable Hall curator Peter Hayes said. “It was completed in 1819. Tragically, he was injured while building the hall, and died shortly thereafter in 1821. He left behind a widow, Mary Eliza, and five young children.”
From what seems to be a sad local story, researchers believe one of Christmastime’s most beloved tales was born.
You see, this year is the 200th anniversary of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore.
Vancouver author Pamela McColl was writing a book about the poem when her research led her to Constableville.
“There was an article I read about Constable Hall and the possible connection to the home of the Constables, and that maybe it was written there,” McColl said.
Clement Moore was the cousin of Mary Eliza. After her husband died, it’s likely he paid her and the kids a visit.
Plus, the home has the features described in the poem.
" Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.”
“These are the shutters, these are interior shutters,” Hayes said, “so you open the shutters and throw up the sash. This is the master bedroom where one would settle their brains for a long winter’s nap.”
Perhaps with a kerchief and a cap.
If it’s true that Clement Moore wrote the poem for his grieving cousin, that means one of the building’s chimneys would be the one Saint Nick shimmied down.
“It has the shutters, it has the fireplaces in every room,” McColl said. “It’s dreamy in the winter there with the snow, so it’s certainly an inspirational building.”
“It’s a very touching story of a woman who found herself here, widowed, and her family rallied around her,” Hayes said.
What was made to cheer up a local family for the holidays is now said to be the most collected and recited work in the English language.
If you want to learn more go to Constable Hall on September 16 for a visit with author Pamela McColl.
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