Christmas in the Country on Dec. 3 in Aurora

Event features two historic homes decked out in Victorian style.

It will be hard to pick which is better – the view of the Ohio River or the view of two historic homes decked out for the holidays – at Christmas in the Country on Dec. 3, 1 to 5 p.m. in Aurora.

Christmas in the Country offers a two-for-one opportunity to experience Hillforest mansion and Indiana Landmarks’ Veraestau—both decorated in period style. At Hillforest, you’ll find costumed docents, musical entertainment, and seasonal refreshments amid traditional Victorian splendor. At the historic country estate of Veraestau, you can sip hot chocolate, toast marshmallows over the open fire, and explore the house while the kids decorate cookies.

Thomas Gaff built Hillforest in 1855, and elements of its design resemble the steamboats of the era,  reflecting his involvement in the shipping industry. Hillforest Historical Foundation owns the National Historic Landmark, which is open to the public on a regular basis. Hillforest overlooks the town of Aurora and the river.

On a bluff high above the river on the southern edge of Aurora, Veraestau began in 1810 and grew with additions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The house was occupied by generations of two families until it was bequeathed to Indiana Landmarks. The historic country estate is open by appointment and rented for meetings, parties and weddings.

Christmas in the Country benefits preservation work at both Veraestau and Hillforest. Tickets cost $15 per person, with a discount for members of Indiana Landmarks or Hillforest. Tickets for children age 7 to 14 are $8, with no charge for children 6 and under. Tickets are available online at or by calling 812-926-0087.

WHAT: Christmas in the Country

WHERE: Veraestau Historic Site, 4696 Veraestau Lane, Aurora & Hillforest, 213 Fifth Street, Aurora

WHEN: Dec. 3, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

WHO: Sponsored by Indiana Landmarks and Hillforest Historical Foundation

COST:    $15 per person ($8 per Indiana Landmarks or Hillforest member); $8 per child age 7 to 14. Buy tickets, at the door, or by calling 812-926-0087.

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Media contact:  Jarrad Holbrook, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Southeast Field Office, 812-926-0983,

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Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

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