(EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this story was published, the Gazette has learned the event has been canceled because a TMS staff member has COVID-19.)
TEXARKANA, Texas — Just in time for the holidays, this Saturday provides no less than two chances to visit the Ace of Clubs House and meet Olivia Smith Moore.
And although it may not be the real Miss Olivia, the woman who plays her will help usher in the bygone era when the Ace of Clubs was home to a family and fashionable doings.
Mrs. Olivia, as played by Burgandy Farris of the Texarkana Museums System as a costumed interpreter, will lead tour-goers during the regular afternoon tour at 1 p.m. Then she'll host an evening of 1920s-themed cocktails, drinks and live entertainment starting at 6:30 p.m.
Moore was the last owner of the unique home, instrumental in it becoming a museum.
Advance registration is requested for the afternoon tour and required for the evening party at TexarkanaMuseums.org/Events.
Jamie Simmons, curator at the Texarkana Museums System, said the afternoon will be similar to the normal tour — "except your tour guide will be Miss Olivia herself." She will discuss the home from her perspective.
Because of a restriction on the number of people who can attend the tour, people should make that reservation through the TMS events webpage.
"Now the evening tour is actually a little bit different. In addition to Miss Olivia, so she will still be there to tell us about her house, we're also going to have Miss Olivia's lady's maid and Miss Olivia's sister," Simmons said.
Ace of Clubs evening visitors can enjoy refreshments, including cocktails with a 1920s flavor and non-alcoholic beverages, too. That era will guide the motif for the evening, including the live entertainment.
These two events are related, but the nighttime event is more than a tour. Of course, Olivia Smith Moore holds an important place in Ace of Clubs history.
"Olivia Smith Moore came to the Ace of Clubs House in 1920 as a new bride. She was the last person to live in the house. She lived in the house for 65 years. She passed away in 1985," Simmons said. "She actually was responsible for the house being preserved. The Moore family loved that house. It's part of their legacy. It was gifted to the Museums System through Miss Olivia's will."
That includes the contents, Simmons said, noting Moore applied for the home to receive state and national historic recognition.
"She was in the house longer than any of the other occupants combined, including her own family. That's part of the reason we focus on Miss Olivia," the curator said.
Of course, Olivia's plentiful shoes have also been a popular attraction at the home. They'll make an appearance, along with holiday decorations.
"Mainly the treat here will be to see the house in the evening. We're going to have some special displays out or shoes that aren't normally on display, the holiday clothes and the evening clothes that are in the collection," Simmons said, noting the home looks very different in the evening.
This will be the first time they've had a costumed interpreter portraying someone who was part of the home's history.
"We have had evening events before, but really this is very different from anything we've done," Simmons said.
Masks are requested while people are inside the Ace of Clubs. They will be available for anyone who needs one.
(Tickets: afternoon tour for $10 per person, or $5 for Texarkana Museums System members; evening tour for $20 per person, or $15 for TMS members. For tickets and more information, visit TexarkanaMuseums.org/Events or call 903-793-4831. You can also email [email protected])