Agate open house recognizes Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day, an official holiday in much of the British Commonwealth. The name comes from the practice of English ladies and gentlemen "boxing up" gifts the day after Christmas and delivering them to their household employees. In some places, masters and servants would switch places for the day.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument...midway between Mitchell and Harrison...celebrates Boxing Day for the 16th year with an open house today from 1-3:30.

Superintendent James Hill says it's a way to greet neighbors and keep alive a tradition of the historic Agate Ranch...which included what is now the monument.

Boxing Day began when Dorothy Meade....the great-granddaughter of pioneer homesteader Captain James Cook...and her husband Grayson moved back to the ranch from Canada and began inviting friends and neighbors over for visiting and relaxing the day after Christmas

This year's Boxing Day celebration include entertainment with the Green Valley Homesteaders...who are inviting everyone with an instrument to bring it along for a jam session.

Refreshments will be provided by the Oregon Trail Museum Association...which is also discounting all bookstore items 15%. Craft materials will also be available to make a holiday keepsake.

Hill is encouraging guests to bring along canned goods to help others, but says one of the best parts about Boxing Day is just reminiscing about special holiday memories and enjoying a relaxing winter afternoon.

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