Occoquan Guild Selects Historic Mill House for the Virginia Executive Mansion Christmas Tree

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Provided by Occoquan Business Guild

Mill House Museum ornament

Mill House Museum ornament

Historic Occoquan was one of the Virginia localities selected to submit a handcrafted ornament by the Governor for the 2015 Executive Mansion Christmas tree. The theme selected by the Governor for this special occasion is “Virginia’s Localities.”

The Occoquan Business Guild graciously accepted the task and commissioned local artist Vicky Somma to design an ornament that is representative of Occoquan’s rich history. Somma was born and raised in Occoquan and in 2014 designed an ornament depicting the Library of Congress that was displayed on the Christmas tree in the East Wing of the White House. For the 2015 tree, Somma devoted her time and energy to designing the Mill House Museum, which was built in 1759 on 230 acres of the Occoquan River as a forge and gristmill by industrialist John Ballendine. In 1765 Thomas Ellicott took over operation and in the 1790’s installed an invention that that made the mill, now called the Merchant Mill, the first automated gristmill in the United States.

The ornament is a 3-D model that is made of Gypsum powder and displays all brick and stone as well as the millstone that rests on the front of the building. The Governor’s Executive Mansion Christmas tree will be on display from December 4 through the holidays.

For more information about the ornament, Ms. Somma or the Occoquan Guild, please contact Laverne Carson at lavcarson@aol.com. She can also be reached at 703-494-4964.


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