LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- To top off its 150th anniversary celebration, the Masonic Homes are decorating for the holidays and inviting the public to join in. 

The decked out Frankfort Avenue campus brings back memories for 90-year-old Joe Staten, who spent his childhood here. He arrived at the home when he was just four years old after his father drowned in the Portland Canal.

"I was the youngest of eight kids, and back then there was no social security, so my mother right away put the older kids in the home," said Staten.

Of course it looked a little different back then. The Masonic Homes has a rich history in Louisville, first as a home for orphans and widows, and now caring for seniors. This year marks its 150th anniversary and as a final tribute to how far the campus has come, they're decorating for the Christmas season in classic style.

"This is really our gift to the community that has given us so much over the last 15 decades," said Masonic Homes spokesperson Nicole Candler. 

The community is invited home for the holidays. The historic buildings have been decorated with sparkling lights and Christmas cheer. At night, the campus lights up Frankfort Avenue.

"There's just such a connection, that family connection that we hope people will find through the holidays with us," said Candler.

Visitors can tune into a holiday-themed story through their car radios. The story will take listeners on a self-guided tour through the historic campus.

"The stories are just a flashback of the times of celebrating Christmas and the holidays through our history. So there are children who talk about their Christmas wish and having that come true and some of our residents," said Candler. 

For Staten, those are some of his fondest memories. Orphans were allowed to pick from a list of clothing and toys every holiday.

"The guys ordered Chuck Taylor basketball shoes," said Staten. "They gave us an orange and an apple. One of the mornings it was on your plate, and a little bag of hard candy."

A fitting tribute for 150 years of service.

"It's been here a long time and done a lot of good."

You can catch the lights and audio history lesson through the end of the month. Two special holiday events will also take place later in the month, one on the Louisville campus and one at the Shelbyville campus. Click here for more information.

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