Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Oglebay Mansion Museum’

The Holiday Elegance of Oglebay Mansion Museum


An ice sculpture of two reindeer pulling a sleigh grace the lawn of historic Oglebay Mansion Museum.

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.


The Oglebay family used this Oval Parlor as their private retreat.

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 Dining Room is beautifully decorated for Christmas dinner.

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.


“Books of Yesterday” became the theme for the Library where Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are being held by a young lady.

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.


The Federal Bedroom features Cinderella’s ball gown.

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.


Company would be entertained in the Empire Sitting Room decorated as “Deck the Halls” for this holiday season.

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.


The Victorian Bedroom would be the perfect place for a bedtime story. “Nana, tell me a story!”

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.


Wymer’s General Store is part of the Wheeling History Exhibition, which can be seen year round at Oglebay Mansion Museum.

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.


Tigger and Winnie the Pooh visit Mr. Oglebay’s office for “A Pop Up Christmas”.

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. 





Waddington Farm Becomes Oglebay Park

Exquisite! A feeling of wealth poured from the Oglebay Mansion Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1900, Earl Oglebay, Cleveland industrialist and Wheeling financier, purchased Waddington Farm to use it for experimental ideas such as crop rotation and soil improvement. He worked hard to develop quality of life for rural farmers and supported development of 4-H clubs.  His methods were considered outlandish at the time, but soon opened the eyes of many in the world of agriculture. After his death, he left Waddington Farm to the people of Wheeling and today it is Oglebay Park.

Everywhere you looked, you saw high quality, beautiful antiques in their home. When you visit, there are recordings to tell you about the furnishings, paintings, and life of the family in each room. But the Museum has more in store for you than just beautiful furnishings and paintings, as they have gone to great lengths to provide a history of the area as well.

The Pioneering Spirit Exhibition features the history of Wheeling, plus stores and rooms of the early 1900s. Wymer General Store and Sinclair Pharmacy are two of the highlights. Especially enjoyed the General Store as my grandfather had a very similar one. It was a step back in time to see the old candy case, roll of meat wrapping paper, scales, and all the things that created a  one stop place to shop many years ago.

Earl Oglebay’s only grandson, Courtney Burton, was much in evidence in several large oil paintings scattered throughout the house. Courtney always enjoyed horses, even as a child.  The story was told that he even brought one to the bedroom in the mansion, after riding around what is today Oglebay Park.  As he grew up, his love for horses made him a champion polo player and a master of foxhounds.

Here you find the history of Wheeling from pioneer to Victorian time depicted in pictures, stories, and displays. The name Wheeling was actually a piece of Native American vocabulary, Weelunk, which means place of scalp or skull. Indians decapitated early settlers there and placed their skulls on poles in the Ohio River, creating a unique “No Trespassing” sign. But when Ebenezer Zane’s family settled there in 1769, they said Wheeling was “a vision of paradise.”

Downstairs there is a changing exhibit, which at this time was In Their Wake: Wheeling and the Steamboat Revolution. 2011 is the bicentennial anniversary of the first successful steamboat, New Orleans, that traveled  down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans with passage costing $30.  The exhibit displayed the many changes that occurred in Wheeling manufacturing and the influx of travelers and new residents into the city.  Wheeling is listed as the birthplace in 1816 of the  American steamboat, The George Washington, which set the pattern for future steamboats.  Also on display were pictures of the original Wheeling Suspension Bridge built in 1847. At that time it was 1,010′ from tower to tower and the longest suspension bridge in the world.

What a beautiful mansion in the rolling mountains of West Virginia!  Imagine spending a quiet evening in the favorite room of the Oglebays surrounded by the treasures of yesteryear. Musical activities were a popular relaxation and many of the rooms contained a piano, organ, or record player. What an elegant place to spend the evening. What a wonderful life!

Oglebay Mansion Museum is part of the Oglebay Institute in Wheeling, West Virginia.  Located just off I-70 at Exit 2A, follow posted signs to Oglebay Park. Continue on Lodge Drive up the mountain side to the Mansion, which is open most days from 9-5. 

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