Indian King Tavern News head
233 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ, 08033

Honored as Docent and Christmas Music Event Organizer

William Mason, Bradly Mattson, Judith Mattson
Indian King Tavern Museum historic preservation specialist, William Mason, left, gives Brad Mattson the 2000 "Volunteer of the Year" award for his work at the historic facility. Mattson's mother, Judith, looks on.

HADDONFIELD, N.J. (Oct. 16, 2000) --- Brad Mattson, who has organized and produced the Indian King's Music of Christmas festival for the last six years, has been named the Tavern Museum's Volunteer of the Year.

The nineteen-year-old Haddonfield resident, who also appears as a Colonial Gentleman docent throughout the year, received the award last night at a ceremony in Philadelphia's City Tavern restaurant.

"Brad's is a remarkable accomplishment," said Indian King preservation specialist and ceremony host, William Mason. "Almost singlehandedly, he has created an annual institution that the whole community looks forward to. His efforts are all the more noteworthy because he started doing this when he was only twelve years old."

"This was a real surprise," said Mattson, who is majoring in International Area Studies at Drexel University.

Historic mother

He was accompanied by his mother, Judith Mattson, who worked for ten years as a history teacher in Collingswood and Haddon Township High Schools.

"History has been an important part of our lives," she explained. "My parents started taking me to historic places when I was very young and I grew up with a love of it. I was determined that history would be one of my son's loves as well."

She pointed out that Brad has been a participant -- in Colonial clothes -- in every Haddonfield 4th of July parade since he was born. He won an award for his costume at the 1994 parade -- an event that brought him to the attention of Mason who was then recruiting docents for the tavern museum.

George Washington and Brad Mattson
Brad Mattson, right, with George Washington re-enactor William Sommerfield, left, at the Indian King Tavern Museum last month.

"We both discovered the history of the Indian King Tavern together," said Judith Mattson, "and when Brad first started working there, I was thrilled because I wanted this young man to be proud of his historic town and also to learn the importance of community service."

Merriment and traditional music

Mattson's Music of Christmas festival fills the 250-year-old Tavern Museum with eighteenth century decorations as well as musicians who play Yuletide songs on traditional instruments. Authentically dressed docents are on duty in every room to explain the customs and artifacts of life in 1777. And, the day's crowds are provided with Christmas cider and other period holiday treats.

This year's event takes place on Dec. 9. Mattson is quick to note that the Garden Club of Haddonfield and dozens of others donate time and resources to the event that occurs at the height of the town's Christmas shopping season.

Mattson, who has been interested in music since he was very young, maintains wide contacts with the area's community of traditional musicians. A former member of the Haddonfield High School Band, he also plays in the town concert band as well as in his church. At the Music of Christmas festival he can often be seen, in full Colonial garb, playing solo holiday trumpet pieces on the front steps of the Tavern.

"It's really amazing, when you think of it," he said. "Imagine getting an award for something that is so incredibly enjoyable to do. I don't think this is something I'm ever going to grow out of."

All Rights Reserved
© 2000, Hoag Levins


Next Tavern News Story

Previous Tavern News Story

Main Home


Christmas 2000 at the Indian King

Brad Mattson Named Volunteer of Year

Slaves at Mt. Vernon: An Indian King Performance

George Washington Visits the Indian King

Flags, Seals & Drinking Songs with Francis Hopkinson

Benjamin Franklin Visits Indian King

A Year of 250th Anniversary Events

Archive of
Previous Tavern News Stories