Spanaway’s Prairie House Museum decked out for Christmas

Chuck Overaa, 87, was sitting with friends around a table full of holiday sweets at his childhood home in Spanaway.

He donated the house — now the Prairie House Museum — to the Spanaway Historical Society decades ago.

“It has historical value,” Overaa said about the building. “When I was a boy this was a working farm. We raised turkeys.”

On Sunday, the historical society invited the public to its Christmas Open House. The museum’s holiday decorations will be up until mid-January.

The restored 1890s Gable and Wing farmhouse became a historical landmark in 1989, and is open to the public each week.

It’s filled with historical items donated by local families.

Younger generations touring the home learn about a way of life they might not otherwise be exposed to. Visitors a bit older can reminisce about their own childhoods.

“This house and museum just reminds me of our place when I grew up,” Jim Scearce said Sunday as he visited to see the Christmas decorations. He said he grew up on the west side of Spanaway Lake, on Spanaway Loop Road.

The holiday decorations include a quilt display, Christmas decorations in a dollhouse at the museum, and Victorian Christmas trimmings, along with the items that are there year-round.

Overaa and wife Sue own the adjacent Fir Lane Memorial Park, Funeral Home, Chapel and Crematorium. They moved out of the house in 1952.

Robin Barnes, co-coordinator of the historical society, said about 15 or 20 active members of the society help run the museum. The group has 100 members or so total. It’s the 24th year they’ve done the Christmas display, she said.

“It’s preserving our history for tomorrow,” she said about the museum.