Victorian tea a major fundraiser for the Waynesboro Historical Society

May 03, 2008

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The walls of the Oller House in Waynesboro told the tales of the past Saturday through the language of the fans that adorned the 1892 home for the Waynesboro Historical Society's fourth annual Spring Tea.

The tea is a major fundraiser for the historical society, which works to preserve and tell Waynesboro's story.

Guests enjoyed a traditional Victorian tea service complete with finger sandwiches and scones.

Helen Shelley, chairwoman of the event, said the tea came about as a way to both raise money and give society members and guests a "nice social event."

"The house was built in 1892, which was a time when teas were very popular," Shelley said. "In the last few years, teas have become more popular again."

Most of the guests Saturday were women, which Shelley said was not surprising, given the theme.

The theme for 2008 was "Victorian Fanfare" in celebration of the fans that nearly every woman carried.


The ladies sharing tea Saturday said the theme was a big draw for the event.

Pat Groff of Waynesboro attributed the "feel" of the afternoon tea to the atmosphere created by Shelley and her volunteers.

Victorian gowns, dresses and fans hung from the walls and mantles while local musician Debbie Weihl played classical music on the ebony and ivory keys of the historical piano.

Shelley said each guest also was given a scroll detailing the "language of fans," which Victorian women used to socialize without words.

Groff said teas are about socializing.

"It's a great way to gather and just talk," Groff said. "I think teas are about sharing food and friends."

"Yes, definitely," said Dottie Potter of Waynesboro.

"That's what I would say," Peggy Wright added.

The tea continues today at 3 p.m. at the Oller House.

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