Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Victorian’

Celebrate the Holidays at Dickens Victorian Village

Mayor Orr along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim welcome visitors to Cambridge, Ohio

Charles Dickens would have enjoyed a walk down Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge to see the scenes from his book, A Christmas Carol, as well as scenes from old England. Dickens Victorian Village takes you back in time to those long-ago days each November and December.

Many special events are planned throughout the months for the enjoyment of area residents as well as the multitude of visitors that pour into town each season on buses and in cars. They all enjoy the friendly atmosphere as they are greeted by Victorian dressed volunteers throughout the town.

Victorian Scenes

The glassblower scene can be found on the corner of 9th Street on the way to the Cambridge Glass Museum.

The heartbeat of the village lies in 168 scenes that line the street. They can be found under every lamppost and in some store windows. Each has a brass plaque explaining its relationship to London and Charles Dickens. The scenes are designed and refurbished annually by a Creative Team that takes great pride in making the characters appear real.

Dickens Welcome Center

Dickens Welcome Center contains many items with a touch of Old England.

Everyone needs to stop at the Welcome Center to pick up information about the downtown area and hear how the project began. Here you will find the first figure created for the village, that of Charles Dickens. Dress in Victorian clothes at a fun Imagination Station where you can step back in time yourself. Of course, there are wonderful gifts available to bring back memories of your visit.

Sherlock Holmes

A Sherlock Holmes mystery provides weekend entertainment.

Every other year Holmes fans await the newest Sherlock Holmes mystery written by local playwright Anne Chlovechok. Can you figure out the murder mystery this year surrounding Sherlock Holmes and the Chlosterphobic Conundrum?

Performances will be at Pritchard Laughlin on November 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:00 on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 3:00. Join in the fun of this tantalizing mystery that begins at the Colonel Taylor Inn.

Trolley Tours

Ride the trolley to learn local history from historian, Rick Booth.

Three weekends during the season, hop on a Trolley Tour of downtown and the city of Cambridge. Learn the story of how Dickens Victorian Village began and about the history of Cambridge from its founding. Hear stories of some of those settlers from the Isle of Guernsey who made Guernsey County the special place it is today.

Tours are still offered in 2021 at $10 a person on the following Saturdays: December 4 and December 18. They run hourly beginning at 10:00 am with the last trolley leaving at 5:00 pm. You’re sure to hear some special stories from trolley guide and local historian, Rick Booth.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Relax to the sound of horses’ hooves on an evening carriage ride.

If you prefer taking a slower ride through town, climb in the carriage and enjoy viewing the Victorian scenes to the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves. It’s also a special way to experience the Courthouse Light Show as you listen to the music all snuggled up in a blanket surrounded by the cool evening air.

Carriage rides will be available from November 12 to December 18 for $10 for adults and $8 for children under the age of 12. Catch the carriage on West 8th Street beside the Courthouse. Availability depends on the weather.

Victorian Teas

Ladies dress in their finest for a Victorian Tea.

Ladies and gentlemen enjoy dressing in their finest clothes and wearing beautiful hats as they enjoy teas in the Victorian style. There are three teas during the season where English pastries, confectionaries, and fruit accompany a wide assortment of teas. Every tea has entertainment for the enjoyment of those in attendance.

Two of the teas take place each year at the Masonic Ballroom in downtown Cambridge while the third tea is held at the Cambridge Country Club each November with Queen Victoria in attendance. Reservations are required for all of the teas by calling 740-421-4956. There is only one tea remaining in 2021 and that will be on December 11 at the Masonic Ballroom at a cost of $18.95.

Christmas Candlelight Walk

Cindy, Lindy, and Mayor Tom Orr prepare for the Christmas Candlelight Walk.

Get in the spirit of Christmas! Bring your own candle or lantern and join your friends at the Dickens Welcome Center on December 18 at 6:00 pm to begin an evening stroll as you pass the scenes of Victorian characters. Charles Dickens often took strolls through downtown London so would approve of this entertaining evening.

Guides will tell stories regarding the scenes during this free event. Learn more about the time of Charles Dickens. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bundle up in case snow flurries happen to fall.

Courthouse Holiday Light Show

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

Be dazzled by the 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music on the Guernsey County Courthouse. People line the streets to watch this spectacular light show presented by AVC Communications. It’s a favorite of tour buses and local residents. Children enjoy dancing to the music.

Enjoy this Holiday Light Show any evening from November 1 through December 3 1 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Watching from the courthouse lawn or sitting on the benches enhances the show but you can view it from your car and tune to the radio station to listen to the music.

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As you can tell, there’s plenty to see and enjoy while visiting Dickens Victorian Village. For more information visit www.DickensVictorianVillage.com or check out their Facebook page.

Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Create happy memories with your family and friends this holiday season at Dickens Victorian Village.

Find Victorian Splendor at The Castle in Marietta

Castle

The castle, built in 1855, features many history-related events throughout the year.

Oozing Victorian charm, The Castle in Marietta, Ohio takes one back to a simpler time – from a wealthy point of view. Even though now situated in the center of town, back in 1855 when it was first built, the house was on one of the highest spots in the area and overlooked the then existing town of Marietta. One large tree still stands in the front yard where it was planted over a hundred and fifty years ago.

     Today The Castle is part of The Betsey Mills Corporation, a group of community-minded women, who wish to educate the public regarding Marietta history as well as life in Victorian times. Tours of The Castle are given by guides, who are very knowledgeable of its history and share many humorous stories that make the visit extra enjoyable. If you enjoy life in Victorian times, perhaps this glimpse inside will make you eager to visit there yourself.

Castle - Harley

Harley Noland, board member, initiated the idea for their annual Tour of Homes, and helps at The Castle in many ways.

     Starting in the Carriage House, which now serves as the Visitors’ Center, a video explains a brief history of the people who have resided at The Castle over the years. The property was used by Nathaniel Clark, the potter, as early as 1808 when he made milk pans, jugs and jars. Remnants of their pottery still surface from time to time or are found on archaeological digs.

Castle - Oldest piece

This 1745 clock is the oldest piece of furniture in The Castle.

     In 1855 Melvin Clarke paid $2000 for two empty lots where the house was to be built. Ownership by five prominent and influential citizens began with the original owner/builder, who was an attorney and first city solicitor, and continuing with the person who established the Bank of Marietta, the owner of Marietta Gazette, and even an Ohio State Senator.

Castle - Margaret inside shutters

Margaret Fredericks, our tour guide, displayed the unique shutters inside the balcony.

     All furnishings in The Castle are either original Victorian items, which had actually been used in the home, or furnishings from other Marietta homes of that time. Wood trim and doors were made of red oak downstairs where guests would be entertained, but upstairs were made of pine, as only the family would be upstairs.

Castle- Lithograph

The entrance way contained an early lithograph of The Castle above an old pump organ.

     Victorian times were filled with music. A pump organ from Stevens Organ and Piano Company can be found inside the front door. Two more pianos are in the parlors, as well as an Edison music box from 1892, which played the cylinder records of hard black wax. The song, “Echo All Over the World”, was on display in its original case from Edison Gold Moulded Records.

Castle - Library

Captain William Holden had what they called ‘the first laptop’ on the desk in the library…a wooden box in which he could carry all of his important papers.

     The library showcased Captain William Holden’s box where he kept all his important papers and could close it like a briefcase to take them with him. Some called it the first lap-top. Adults would sit here and read while younger ladies were having gentlemen callers in the adjoining sitting room. Even though the chairs of ladies and gentlemen were separated by a table, someone had to watch and listen to ensure proper behavior was being observed.

     The chairs, themselves, were unique in that they sat very low to the floor. That way there could be no chance that the young ladies’ ankles would show, an act of disgrace during Victorian times.

Castle - hair art

This hair wreath was begun from family hair while Anna Marie Weinheimer had diphtheria in 1866.

     When you wanted to remember a special person, you could weave a lock of their hair into a special design. Men might braid their special lady’s hair into a watch chain to attach a pocket watch to their jacket. The ladies would make necklaces and broaches in intricate designs.

Castle - Chest

This chest was built in Marietta to contain three drawers in which one eastern lady carried her belongings to her new home.

     A unique dresser can be found in an upstairs bedroom. When the lady moved here from the east coast, she only had room to bring three drawers full of her belongings. When they arrived in Marietta, a dresser was built to hold those three drawers. Women gave up a lot to be pioneers.

Castle - bed

Rope beds needed to be tightened frequently to ensure a good night’s sleep, thus the saying: Sleep tight!

     All the furnishings in The Castle were either original Victorian items, which had actually been used in the home, or furnishings from other Marietta homes of that era. Wood trim and doors were made of red oak downstairs where guest would be entertained; however, upstairs the doors were of pine as only the family would be upstairs.

Castle Nye cookstove

A castle cookstove was made in the late 1800s by Marietta’s Nye Foundry, which is still in operation today.

     One beautifully designed wall shelf had originally held a collection of Captain Holden’s, who they called the original Spiderman. He had collected 3,000 different spiders and kept them on display.

Castle - Nathaniel's house

This is part of the original home of Nathaniel Clark and displays some of his early 1800s pottery.

     A section attached to The Castle served as the original home of Nathaniel Clark and several of his pottery vases were on display there. Outside the door near the gazebo, the outline of the original kiln has been found and excavation of that area will take place as time permits. It’s a rather large area about fourteen feet long.

Castle - Gazebo

Near the Gazebo, it’s possible to see a new discovery – the edges of Clark’s original kiln.

     You’ll find a great variety of activities at The Castle throughout the year. Check their website at www.mariettacastle.org for the latest information. There are activities for every age level from workshops and teas to ghost tours and children’s programs. You’re sure to find something of interest!

The Castle is located in Marietta, Ohio at 418 4th Street. Take Exit 1 off I-77. Castle is open April through December. Hours for June, July and August are 10-4 most days, except closed on Wednesday. Sunday hours are 1-4.

Victorian Elegance at Barnesville Mansion Museum

Barnesville Mansion

This eye-catching mansion showcases the luxurious Victorian era.

Feel the spirit of Victorian times in this elegant, historic mansion in Barnesville. The beauty of Barnesville Victorian Mansion Museum lasts year around, but comes alive at Christmas time when it is beautifully decorated in Victorian style.

Barnesville Owner

A portrait of John Bradford, the original owner appears upstairs.

Twenty-six rooms have been restored to the original style of its construction during 1888-1893 for John W. “Dias” Bradford, a well-known merchant and highly respected citizen of Barnesville. It took five years to build this fine Victorian home as a great architect worked with the finest craftsmen to finish everything to perfection. Not only did he build this fine house, but Bradford was also responsible for building the first bank in Barnesville.

Barnesville Griffin

A protective griffin in the fretwork greets visitors upon entering.

Arriving through the carriage entrance, you’re greeted by a carved oak fretwork, a design formed by intricate scrolling. A winged griffin was included in the carving, as it was believed a griffin would prevent misfortune.

Barnesville Door Hinges

Even the door hinges showed intricate designs.

Everything speaks of elegance with eleven fireplaces, which have decorative carved wooden mantles. Woodwork throughout is handcarved so even the spirals on the banister have an individual air. The floors show a beautiful parquet design from room to room. Even the hinges on the doors have an intricate design, which was then matched on the doorknobs and staircase. No cost was spared.

Barnesville Butler's Bell

A butler’s bell system was installed when the home was built with the telephone later added below it.

Even at this early time, the builder had the foresight to wire the house for electricity. Therefore, the lights could use either gas or electric.

Barnesville Child's Dress

This pretty yellow lace dress was found in a trunk in the attic.

Finding drinking water in those early days created a problem. Most places had a cistern, which caught rain water and drainage from other sources. This water made everyone sick so it was only used for cleaning and bathing. Their drinks consisted of beer, cider, whiskey and wine. Life expectancy was forty-six years.

Inglenook, a special courting room, set back into the wall. The man sat on one end and the girl on the other. In this special room, the acoustics were such that they could talk softly to one another, but no one else could hear them.

Barnesville Growlery

The Growlery provided a place for men to relax during the evening.

The Growlery was the place men often met after dinner to discuss business while smoking and playing games. Beautifully carved ivory and clay pipes rested on the game table as well as an ornate spittoon and snuff bottles. A stereoscope had viewing cards handy.

While the house had many fireplaces, the one in the Growlery had a special charm. Made with blue and white tile from Consolidated Pottery of Zanesville, it contained the image of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt.

Barnesville Bed with Doll

A Shannon Doll from a West Virginia collection stands at the foot of an original bed.

Bathrooms presented an interesting story as there were three inside, one downstairs – a powder room, and two upstairs. However, they were suspicious of going to an indoor toilet since they feared sewer gases could be dangerous. The servants’ rooms were located near the bathrooms.

Barnesville Child's Bedroom

This child’s bedroom contained everything a little girl would enjoy.

The powder room and one upstairs bath had 22K gold decorations. Two 540 gallon tanks located on the third floor supplied running water.

In that day, most people took one bath a week. Every month they washed their hair with a special rinse of eggs and vinegar to give it a lasting shine.

Barnesville Clock Room

A picture of Queen Victoria had been placed in their clock room.

Clocks held an importance far above just telling time. You could tell the quality of the home as well as their finances by the kinds of clocks they had on display. Taking care of the clocks was always the man’s duty, or sometimes the oldest son. The museum has a large clock collection on the third floor.

That third floor also held the ballroom, which was typical of Victorian mansions. Twelve couples could easily dance around the floor. An adjoining room held an old Victrola, organ and banjo.

Barnesville Bathrub

Emery Stewart drew flowers on this bathtub in 1966.

Excellent guides created an informative day. They all enjoyed sharing stories of the mansion. One of those guides, Emery Stewart, started working at the museum when he was a student at Barnesville High School in 1966. His first assignment was to paint flowers on the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom. He’s been a volunteer ever since and loves his hometown of Barnesville.

One amazing picture, a “hair” picture, had been made from pieces of family hair. This unusual picture formed a family tree with pieces of each person’s hair on their branch of the tree. Lovingly made step by step by an aunt or grandmother, the whole family story could be told from the “hair family tree”.

Barnesville Doll Collection

A large collection of Pete Ballard dolls can be found upstairs.

Barnesville sat along the railroad line and was a wealthy city in its heyday, having eleven hotels, seventeen saloons, and several mansions. The Board members were very pleased to receive a grant from the Ohio Arts Council to be used for television broadcasting so they could share the history of their mansion and hometown.

The Barnesville Victorian Mansion Museum at 532 N. Chestnut Street is open for tours May 1 through October 1, Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00-4:00 pm. Groups and buses can be scheduled at any time by contacting the museum.

Barnesville Volunteers on Porch

Volunteers Sherry McClellan, Emery Stewart, and Judy Jenewein help keep history alive.

Specials events take place at the mansion throughout the year. They’ve had wine tastings, graveyard tours, and their lovely Christmas tour. Here you can see a Victorian style Christmas from the weekend after Thanksgiving until the weekend before Christmas.

Keeping the spirit of their beginning alive will hopefully carry over from generation to generation.

The Barnesville Victorian Museum is located at 532 N Chestnut Street in Barnesville, Ohio. Take OH-800 S off I-70 into Barnesville. Make a left on Walton Avenue and the museum will be on the left.

 

 

McKinley’s Victorian Style Home First Ladies Historic Site

Could the sound of footsteps on the spiral staircase at the Saxton McKinley House be those of Ida McKinley? Once in a while the footsteps echo late at night, and the light step is attributed to Ida. That seems quite possible as this was her family home where she lived for twenty-eight years.

Beautiful gardens connect the Education and Research Center to the Ida Saxton McKinley House, both part of the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio. Visitors were greeted by a  young lady dressed in a replica of Julia Tyler’s gown. She was very knowledgeable regarding the history of the house and the family.

To add a little mystery, there are conflicting stories as to how Ida and William McKinley met each other.  Some said Ida was a cashier in the bank where William transacted business for the law firm he joined when moving to Canton. Another story said that both Ida and William were Sunday School teachers at different churches, and passed each other on the way to church.  Or perhaps they met during a picnic at Myers Lake Park. However they met, William indulged her every whim and was seldom far from her side, which turned out to be a major political asset.

The Saxton McKinley House was originally built in 1840 by Ida’s maternal grandfather, George DeWalt. Her other grandfather, John Saxton, was founder of the Canton Repository newspaper. Her affluent background made it possible to lead an extravagant lifestyle. Almost everything inside the house today is a reproduction, but based very carefully on the Victorian style used in the original 1800’s house – after extensive research at the Smithsonian. Fortunately, there are still original walls and woodwork throughout much of the home.

In the Formal Parlor you get a glimpse of a music box purchased on Ida’s trip to Switzerland as well as the piano topped with Victorian sheet music, which she enjoyed playing. The Library held William McKinley’s chair and a large collection of Ida’s fans, which numbered over 250. On the third floor, William had his office across the hall from Ida’s room so he could be close to her.  Their second child, Ida, died at six months of age and two years later Katie, their three year old, contracted typhoid fever and passed away. Consumed by her grief, Ida’s headaches became more severe, accompanied by seizures and tremors.

To ease her migraine headaches, her hair was cut because the weight of the braids was considered a possible cause. Medication for her seizures often made her listless. These two problems made it necessary for Ida to sit as much as possible and this petite lady with a 20″ waist, 18″ when corseted, attempted to hide her afflictions as much as possible.  If she had an attack out in public, William would put a handkerchief over her face so people would not glimpse her facial contortions during seizures.

Also on the third floor was the beautiful ballroom for entertaining. Today the walls of that ballroom display short stories and pictures regarding the life of each First Lady. Many interesting facts were given about various First Ladies, for example,  Francis Cleveland happened to be America’s youngest First Lady. Grover Cleveland was a friend of the family’s and actually bought Francis her baby carriage.

The McKinleys only lived at the Saxton McKinley House for a short time  between 1878-1895, while William was serving in the US House of Representatives and then as Governor of Ohio. During his presidential campaign, they moved to a more modest home, which more closely matched William’s background.

Often we hear stories about our presidents, so it was refreshing to hear stories about their First Ladies and catch a glimpse at their lifestyle.  A friend wrote about Ida Saxton McKinley, “Her greatest charm was her perfect sincerity and thoughtfulness for others.  No day passed over her head without her doing something for someone.”  What a great tribute to this special First Lady!

The Saxton McKinley House is located  off I-77 in Canton, Ohio right next door to the First Ladies Library at 205 Market Street South. All tours of the facility are guided and admission, which includes  both the Library and the House, is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children. 

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