A yuletide dream best describes the Mansion Museum at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia during the holiday season. The mansion is dressed luxuriously for the holidays. Its elegant decorations serve as inspiration for ideas to embellish your home.
When arriving at the Mansion Museum on a late November day, the first thing to greet visitors was an ice sculpture of a sleigh pulled by two reindeer. Each year an ice sculpture is placed at the museum and will last as long as the weather stays cool. You can even have your picture taken in the sleigh.
Near the mansion you’ll find the magical Christmas Tree Garden, which contains 30 live trees covered with colored lights. In the center of the garden stands a beautiful gazebo with a life size manger display created by a local artist in 1985. Nearly everyone who passes by, pauses to view the real meaning of the season.
The Mansion Museum, which was the summer home of wealthy industrialist Earl Oglebay, began this holiday tradition in 1973. Both professional decorators and amateurs help trim the mansion in period decorations as it would have appeared when it was built by Hanson Chapline back in 1846. Special care is taken not to damage the antiques on display.
In 1900 Earl W. Oglebay purchased the estate and farm, which he called Waddington Farm. It became the most progressive model farm in the world. When Mr. Oglebay died in 1926, he left his estate to the people of Wheeling to be used as a park and an educational tool. They then turned it into what we know today as Oglebay Park.
Thirteen Victorian period rooms overflow with Christmas décor to put you in the holiday spirit. “A Storybook Celebration” serves as this year’s holiday theme. Each room has been transformed with a touch of magic to fit a particular storybook idea.
From “The Nutcracker” in the Child’s Bedroom to “Deck the Halls” in the Empire Sitting Room, you’ll find tasteful decorations to make you smile. “Not a Creature Was Stirring” in the Pioneer Kitchen, while they were “Stitching Family Tales” in the Sewing Room.
Throughout, there are recordings to tell you about the furnishings, paintings, and life of the family. But the mansion holds the history of the area as well.
A Pioneering Spirit Exhibit features the history of Wheeling. Included is Sinclair Pharmacy and Wymer General Store with candy case, meat wrapping paper and large thermometer. The store was especially enjoyed since it reminded me of my grandfather’s store in Byesville sixty years ago.
While you can visit Oglebay Mansion Museum throughout the year, Holidays at the Mansion create memories of days gone by. The Christmas decorations continue until January 8, 2017 so there’s still plenty of time to make a trip to Oglebay. While there you will want to stay until dark to view the delightful Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Park, where 80 displays line a six mile drive, which covers over 300 acres!
Visit Oglebay Mansion Museum and the Festival of Lights, which inspired Bob and Sue Ley to create Dickens Victorian Village. Maybe you, too, will find inspiration there.
Oglebay Mansion Museum at 1330 Oglebay Drive can be found by following signs to Oglebay Park about four miles off Exit 2A of I-70 on Route 88 North in Wheeling, West Virginia.