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Wolcott Museum Features Christmas Along The River

The Maumee Garden Club decorated the parlor, pictured in white and gold decorations.

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — A traditional white Christmas along the Maumee River is the backdrop of this year’s Wolcott House Museum Complex’s holiday display event.

The home’s parlor features a mantle and two trees adorned with white and gold decorations, while a small vintage sleigh adds a touch of whimsy.

Members of the Maumee Garden Club lent their decorating skills to transform the room for the holidays, said former curator and local historian Marty Wendler. 

“Their talent and originality adds a special touch,” she said. 

According to Maumee Garden Club member Sue Utterback, the decorations also have an ice skating theme.

“We placed a pair of wooden ice skates on display as well as a miniature ‘mirror’ ice skating pond and a treated woods area with birch reindeer and lanterns to light the way,” she said. 

To complement the icy theme, the Maumee Garden Club is donating three toy characters from the movie Frozen that will be raffled off to a lucky visitor.

The dining room is decorated as it might have been in the mid-1860s to 1870s, when Mary Ann Wolcott Gilbert and Smith Gilbert were hosting events in their home. The green and white china is antique and of the period, the gold and white dishes are antique Haviland and the goblets are reproductions, but they are authentic copies, Wendler said.

The table setting features wax pears, which were popular because real
fruit was expensive in winter.

“It would have been considered a special treat, so real fruit was considered an appropriate gift for guests,” she said. 

The Santa suits on display in the Judge’s Room belonged to two local men who were known for many years as “the Maumee Santas.”

“They date back many years,” Wendler said.

One of the suits belonged to local auto business owner Jack Loesch, who served as Santa at local functions from 1919 to the mid 1960s. The other suit belonged to Wayne Pflaghaar, who portrayed Santa for over 25 years.

“Jack’s is the oldest and typical of the period and Wayne’s is the very large suit,” Wendler said.

Santa images created in 1888 by artist Thomas Nast, and one created in 1837 by Robert Weir, are also on display. 

The Wolcott House Museum Complex is located at 1035 River Rd.

Frozen Drawing: All paid visitors will be entered into the drawing for a plush Frozen toy. The drawing will be held on the evening of Friday, December 16 and the winner will notified.  

The museum will also host a member Christmas party on Friday, December 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Hours of operation are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4:00 p.m., with tours taking place at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Cost of the tour is $2.50 for students, $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors.

The museum will close for the season on Sunday, December 30.

For additional information, please call (419) 893-9602 or visit www.wolcotthouse.org.

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