MARTINSDALE — One day a year, visitors have access to the Bair family's private quarters during Upstairs, Downstairs Day at the Bair Family Home in Martinsdale.
The Bair's formal dining room is set for the holidays and the colorful kitchen is ready for breakfast. Visitors can kick off the holiday season with a unique tour of the Bair Family Home. The special open house runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 11.
The open house provides an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour of both the downstairs home and the private quarters upstairs of one of Montana’s greatest philanthropic families. The tour is $3 for adults and free for children 16 and under.
Visitors will view some of Alberta’s elaborate hats, finely tailored clothing and other personal items laid out only for this event.
The formal dining table will be set for holiday entertaining with silver, crystal and fine china. Visitors may purchase gifts for friends and family in the gift shop that offers museum memberships, books and memorabilia.
Seasonal items will also be for sale, including hats, socks, mittens, gloves, Christmas ornaments, rugs and pillows. Some items are Montana-made, and some are made with some alpaca wool.
The museum's eclectic collection blends the art and culture of Europe and Montana in a remodeled but quintessentially homestead setting.
The Bair sisters decorated their home with French furniture, English silver and Chinese porcelain displayed alongside their parents’ collection of western paintings and Plains Indian beadwork.
A collection of Paul Storr silver fills the formal dining room that also contains a Duncan Phyfe table, along with an 18th century British sideboard hunt table and Mrs. Bair’s Minton China wedding set.
Several of Mary Bair’s hand-painted China pieces are also on display.
Family heirlooms are showcased alongside Italian bronze statues in a pioneer environment that blends Bair family memories with antiques in a ranch setting along the Upper Musselshell River.
Visitors can also stay for coffee and refreshments in the Bair barn.