Although Lou Wallisch often spoke about how much he liked his jobs as attorney for the Township of West Milford and West Milford Board of Education, there was something else that also topped his “favorite things list.”
A lifelong bachelor who lived with his widowed mother Cornelia, brother John and sister Sophie in a historic farmhouse at 65 Lincoln Ave. he could never get enough of ...
The house would be decorated with lights and greens and there were figures of Santa and reindeer prancing across the top of the roof. Toys fascinated Lou, especially the wind-up kind that he could send cruising across the floor in his office. He invited school board and council members there for demonstrations and the elected officials usually showed up for a command performance. He would provide cookies or some other treats for his visitors.
The annual Christmas card
Each year Lou or sometimes John took a photo of buildings on the property or a scene to put on the annual Christmas card. In 1993 Lou appeared on the card himself – complete with a Santa hat. His message was “Warmest wishes for the holiday season.”
He belonged to many organizations including the Lions Club, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce and enjoyed the Christmas parties held by the groups.
The family had a religious side, too. They were members of the St. John Lutheran Church in Passaic, where they also had a home.
Stone House project
Lou would be so happy to see the present Stone House project created by The Friends of Wallisch group. They have decorated the Stone building in the back of the farmhouse as a replica of what homes of long ago looked like at Christmas.
People can drive into the driveway, keeping their car lights on the building between 6 and 8 p.m. each night during the holiday season.
Then they leave their cars and walk abound the building, peeking in the windows to see lighted rooms decorated as they were long ago.
The kitchen is filled with hand gadgets that the baker and cook of long ago would use faithfully.
There’s a Christmas tree in the living room and a vintage telephone and early TV set.
“Christmas Past” will delight those who take a moment to stop by for a peak.
Susan and Mark Lynch are thanked for their efforts to bring the past into the present.