By December 3, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Interview: Lucy Conkey Of McHenry Mansion

InterView –

Home for the Holidays.


We all like to feel at home for the Holidays.  There are places that just feel like home no matter where you grew up.   There is one place in Modesto that is “Modesto’s Home” located at 15th and I Street.   The 128 year old McHenry Mansion stands proud today as a symbol of our past and the respect of the present has rallied our community to embrace it, upgrade it, restore it and treasure it.   Starting with the Dicken’s Christmas Faire, the McHenry Mansion symbolizes the Christmas Holidays for so many, from theCandlelight tours, to the photos in front of the tree and the special “tea” events, the McHenry Mansion is home for many of us. December is the perfecttime to take a tour into our past and take yourself home. The decorations are amazing and you will feel at home.

We took some time to speak with the current President of the McHenry Mansion foundation, Lucy Conkey.


MV: Why does the McHenry Mansion feel like home to so many?

LC: I believe it’s the atmosphere of the building.  The feeling is it takes you back to our childhood with a warm and inviting cozines, then it makes a connection to how our community lived their lives.


MV: How many people visit the McHenry Mansion during the holidays?

LC: Last year during the months of November and December there were approximately 6000 visitors including school tours


MV: What are the special events the make the Mansion special during the holidays?

LC: During the holiday season there is the traditional Christmas Tea, the Dickens Faire, and the annual Christmas party held at the Mansion with the holiday decorations in all the rooms that depicts the Victorian era of the Mansion.


MV: How do you keep the Mansion going?

LC: I believe that the 130 docents we have serving as volunteers keep the Mansiongoing.  As a non-profit organization, it depends highly on its volunteers who guide visitors through the house and also spend time working at the Visitors Center and Gift Store.


MV: What does the McHenry Mansion need from our community?

LC: Because it is non-profit, the Mansion depends on financial support and on Foundation membership dues.  Because of budget cuts by the City, the Mansion is dependent on financial donations in order to maintain the Mansion as a legacy for the community to enjoy.


MV: What is one thing that people probably don’t know about the McHenry Mansion.

LC: This Victorian home is the only mansion from that era that remains today in the city of Modesto.  The Mansion is available for weddings, receptions and other events.


MV: What is your favorite room in the Mansion?

LC: I really enjoy how the front parlor is decorated for the holidays, with the old fashioned Christmas tree decorated with popcorn string.


Events scheduled for December are:

December 3: Dicken’s Christmas Faire

December 5: Christmas Tea

December 10: Foundation Christmas Party

December 15 & 17: Candlelight Tours


To learn more, get more details and to get involved:

209.577.5235  Hours: Sunday thru Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.



About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.