Ron Potter is a volunteer at Vaile Mansion in Independence, responsible for organizing the decorators needed to get the mansion ready for the Christmas season. Built in 1881, Vaile Mansion has been dubbed the Christmas Castle by a number of publications, including USA Today. It has also been featured on HGTV’s “Christmas Across America”  special. Each of its rooms, hallways and entryways is decorated by a different set of volunteers in this year’s theme of a  “Whimsical Victorian Christmas.”

Ron Potter is a volunteer at Vaile Mansion in Independence, responsible for organizing the decorators needed to get the mansion ready for the Christmas season. Built in 1881, Vaile Mansion has been dubbed the Christmas Castle by a number of publications, including USA Today. It has also been featured on HGTV’s “Christmas Across America”  special. Each of its rooms, hallways and entryways is decorated by a different set of volunteers in this year’s theme of a  “Whimsical Victorian Christmas.”

Although Potter has never counted the number of Christmas trees in the house, one room alone features 30 trees of varying sizes.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season volunteering at the Vaile Mansion?
I love giving tours, and I love talking to visitors about the Mansion and seeing their expressions as they witness a part of history.

What are some of your favorite rooms and decorations in the Vaile Mansion during the holiday season? Why?
I love all the decorated rooms in the mansion and cannot choose a favorite because I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings if their room was not mentioned.

Why should the community come and visit these historic sites? What do you hope they get out of their experience?
People should come and visit these sites so they know what life was like and how things were built and done years ago. I hope they experience a love of the past and what people are doing today to make the mansion a “wow”  factor.

What is your biggest challenge as a volunteer?
To make sure I treat everyone with respect and hopefully make them want to come back to Independence and spend time seeing everything Independence has to offer.

IF YOU GO

The Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St., is closed through Sunday. It will reopen Monday and will remain decorated until Dec. 30. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children.