Tours and special programs are open to the public through Sunday, Dec. 29, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, at all of the Historic Houses of Odessa properties.

For tours this holiday season, the Historic Odessa Foundation has transformed its National Historic Landmark Corbit-Sharp house, built in 1774, into scenes and vignettes from the classic children’s novel, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Tours and special programs are open to the public through Sunday, Dec. 29 at the Corbit-Sharp house and all of the Historic Houses of Odessa museum properties, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

This year’s Storybook Trees exhibit of more than 30 trees decorated by local families, schools and organizations showcasing books and works of children’s literature will be displayed in the Wilson-Warner House, built in 1769. The exhibit is designed to promote reading and literacy.

For the past 33 years, Historic Odessa has celebrated children’s literature by recreating scenes from the classics in one of its 18th-century museum houses. Visitors have been treated to the literary works of Louisa May Alcott, P.L. Travers, Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor, Washington Irving, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens and more.

Times and tickets

Admission for the holiday tours is $10 for adults, $8 for groups, seniors and students, and free for children under 6 and Historic Odessa Foundation members.

The Historic Houses of Odessa are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m. The last full tour starts at 3 p.m. The houses will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

For information, call 302-378-4119, or visit

Special programs

In addition to the holiday tours, these programs are offered:

Candlelight tours: Dec. 19 and 26, 7 p.m.

Hearth cooking demonstrations: Dec. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Curator candlelight tours: Dec. 19, 5 and 7 p.m.

About the Historic Houses of Odessa

The Historic Odessa Foundation owns and operates the Historic Houses of Odessa, a 72-acre enclave of 18th and 19th century structures in Odessa on U.S. Route 13 and Route 299. The buildings and gardens along with a well-documented collection of more than 7,000 objects and furnishings offer a unique picture of Delaware’s colonial period in a rural village that played a vital part in America’s commercial history.

Odessa, originally known as Cantwell’s Bridge, has retained much of its 18th century charm and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to a National Historic Landmark and two National Park Service Network to Freedom sites.