Etiquette of the Victorian Era at Beekman House

JACKSONVILLE, OR –  Oh, the lengths to which Victorians went to maintain propriety!  Join Historic Jacksonville, Inc. at the 1873 Beekman House from Noon to 4 pm on Saturday, July 15, to learn more about the rules of Victorian Etiquette—and how to break them!

There will be etiquette tours plus lawn demonstrations of calling cards, fan flirting, flower language, posture and poise, table manners and settings, and more.

The Beekman family and Beekman House represent both Jacksonville’s “upper crust” and the Victorian upper-middle class.  Cornelius Beekman was the most prominent and probably the wealthiest man in Jacksonville in the late 19th Century. 

For the Beekmans and the aspiring middle class, proper etiquette was essential to maintaining social standards.  Thanks to more than 60 etiquette guides published during the 1870’s and 1880’s, Victorians could learn the rules of “polite society”—how to conduct themselves in all social situations.

The 19th Century manners expressed in etiquette books included many elaborate social rituals that seem quaint today, but most of the pages were devoted to common sense rules like “Don’t chew with your mouth open” or “Don’t interrupt people” or “Don’t be a lot of bother when you are a house guest.”

While the rules of etiquette do change, many good manners are universal, and many rules of etiquette that were once based on moral principles continue to exist today. Historic Jacksonville will be exploring both historic and contemporary etiquette rules.

Tours of the historic Beekman House led by Victorian costumed docents will focus on social interactions,

class distinctions, and appropriate dress for the activity or circumstance.  Members of Jacksonville’s Belles and Beaus will be joining HJI for lawn activities that demonstrate specific etiquette concerns:  calling cards; posture, position, and poise; fan flirting and communication; the language of flowers; and table setting and table manners.

Etiquette is just one of the Victorian themed tours planned for the Beekman House this summer on the third Saturday of each month through October. Historic Jacksonville will be hosting “Victorian Medical Practices” on August 19; “Newfangled Inventions”on September 16, and a full weekend of “Victorian Mourning Customs” on October 21 and 22.

The C.C. Beekman House is located at 470 E. California Street in Jacksonville.
Parking is available on site.
Victorian Etiquette tours are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students; lawn activities are free.
For additional information, call 541-245-3650 or visit



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