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Vacaville Museum offers holiday Nut Tree memories with exhibit

By
From page A3 | December 04, 2012 |

VACAVILLE — Those who missed seeing the Nostalgic Nut Tree exhibit at the Vacaville Museum during last week’s Merriment on Main celebration will be able to see what the iconic historic Vacaville roadside restaurant and shop was like through the end of January.

“Nostalgic Nut Tree is an exhibition bound to stir fond memories for those who miss the hand-decorated honey cookies, remember a special event in the dining room or whose families flew into the airport and rode the train to the toy store,” said Shawn Lum, the Vacaville Museum’s executive director.

The exhibit opened Nov. 27.

“About 1,100 people came through (Tuesday night) and I got the sense that a lot of people were interested in trying to touch those memories,” Lum said.

The exhibit includes a recreated dining room booth from the Nut Tree, the Christmas sleigh used for years for photos with Santa Claus, menus from as early as 1941 and scarecrows from the Scarecrow contest held every fall at the Nut Tree Pumpkin Patch.

The Nut Tree, which started as a produce stand under an oak tree next to the main road on Vacaville’s east side, was a popular roadside restaurant and shopping stop next to Interstate 80 for 75 years until it closed in 1996. Many of the Nut Tree’s photos and other artifacts were gifted to the Vacaville Museum and were originally displayed in a 1997-98 exhibit.

Two months after this holiday exhibit closes, the Vacaville Museum will open an exhibit in March called Home and Hearth about local cooking and food traditions in Solano County. Museum docents are in the process of collecting artifacts to be displayed, Lum said.

“How we identify with family is often through the smells and tastes of the kitchen,” Lum said of the inspiration for the exhibit.

The Vacaville Museum is open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. It is located at 213 Buck Ave. For more information, call 447-4513 or go to vacavillemuseum.org.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
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