Celebrating the Yuletide season is always a joyous occasion at Wakefield. Built during the 1840s by John Gulley, the home took seven years to complete and stayed in the Gulley family until 1943, when it was sold to Dr. Elkanah G. Burson. His granddaughter, Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing, and her husband, Tom Rushing, now own this property, which shines its brightest during this merry time of year, when their friend and neighbor, Lance Britt of The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill, lends his talents and expertise in decorating the house for the holidays.
The dining room is the center of attention, as everyone gathers around the 14-foot-long table, draped in a Scalamandré silk-damask cloth. A pair of 10-foot-tall evergreens, crowned with nineteenth-century papier mâché angels and adorned with period glass ornaments from the family’s collection, oversees the festivities. These glittering trees are lit with candles, recalling a previous chapter in the home’s narrative. The set of ten needlepoint-covered chairs bear the Rushing family’s heraldic crest to honor its English lineage, which includes a relative who signed the Magna Carta.