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Local History

Holiday Lights

 Queen City Aglow

Springfield Leader & Press, Dec 20, 1967, p. 25
By Marian Matthews

"Santa Claus, so the story goes, will see the sights and sounds of Christmas flying along rooftops in a reindeer-drawn sled. That’s okay for the jolly man in red… but the smart Springfieldian with an appreciative eye for twinkling lights and a yen to see the Christmas sights in the Queen City is one up on ol’ Santa. Leave those reindeer at home, warm up the car and drive through almost any of the city’s avenues for a look at the year’s outside Yule.

"Outside decorations -- residential and commercial -- are scattered throughout Springfield. Some of the best are in the newly annexed Parkcrest addition on Campbell and Highway M. Driving south on Campbell two huge strings of light looking as if they line the front of a church appear on the horizon. A closer look reveals that the red and white lights are really strung over the Parkcrest water tower. It’s still an awesome sight. On the way to the subdivision, take a moment to stop outside 437 West Silsby where Mr. and Mrs. Terry Odle have used strands of green lights and a rooftop Santa to decorate their home. One of the most interesting sights in Parkcrest is the glowing-like fireplace, Santa and lights at 809 Kingsley. Almost all the subdivision's homes are decorated in some way.

"Swinging to the east the driver happens upon Brentwood and Brentwood Estates. A white cross atop a home at 2651 South Patterson glows across the area of Edgewood and Stewart sports an unusual religious decoration -- windows filled with gold manger characters on a white background. Again there are so many well-adorned homes, it’s impossible to list all of them. Large butane candles light the sidewalk of the W. M. Templeman home at 2510 South Sunset in Brentwood and green lights run along the fence in front of the house.

"'They Served,' reads the lighted display at the Living Memorial, 'that peace on earth be restored to the world.' Three gold stars beside the message represent men in the service and another star above symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. The display, according to the Greene County memorial Association, is to remind Americans of the obligation to the veterans. It was donated by Dan B. Savage, Sr. The memorial is at Highway M and South U.S. 60-65.

"One of the most brightly-lit houses in town is at 2838 Covington Circle in Southern Hills. Lights span the roof horizontally and vertically, and deck the shrubbery. A Santa Claus, snowman and Nativity scene decorate the yard.

"Head north now, hitting the side streets and taking a side trip through Phelps Grove Park, along Delaware and along Kingsbury. Farther north, the flickering lights of decorated homes along Valley Water Mill Road, west off Mo. 13, can be seen [for miles?]…[illegible] well proportioned display can be seen at 2114 North Grant vertical lights adorn trees more than two stories tall. Burge-Protestant Hospital [Cox North] has turned its fountain into a giant candleholder and lights deck the west side of the building facing Boonville. Nativity scenes, Santa Clauses, decorated doors and outside bulbs light the town.

"Toward the center of town, several homes and a fraternity house brighten the night in the 800 block South Kimbrough. Red lights effectively light up a home at the corner of South Thelma on West Ildereen. The Roy L. Rhea home at 1932 South Nettleton features decorations which have won two first places in competition in Kansas City. There’s a Santa and sleigh, a candyland and a train, all brightly lit.

"At…well, it’s impossible. Beautifully decorated homes dot the Springfield scene from east to south to west to north. Those mentioned are just a sampling of what the city streets hold in store for the appreciative viewer. It took three hours and 60 miles just to tour the areas mentioned…and it’s a nice way to spend an evening."

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