BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — After an extended closure, the Wolcott Museum will open its doors for a holiday tour.
The historic River Road museum complex features the Wolcott House along with a historic church, one-room school house, farm house, log house and train depot on its 6-acre campus. Site director Tonya Hanes said that this will be the first time welcoming guests into the Wolcott house since December 2019.
“We closed for the winter, so we were getting ready to open in March (2020) when everything shut down,” she said.
The staff and volunteers are delighted to see people returning to the 1830s museum complex, she added.
“It feels wonderful. We are so happy to be open to the public again. It has been a long time, and we are anxious to get people back in the house,” Hanes said.
During the shutdown, outside buildings were painted and small repairs and improvements took place, including adding steps to the train depot. Informational videos were posted on the museum’s website and community members continued to maintain several gardens on the property.
This year’s holiday decorations feature a table setting in the dining room created by historian Marty Wendler. The plates highlight period green and white china with gold accents on an antique white lace tablecloth. The green stemware is a replica of an early thumbprint pattern, and a small feather tree decorated in antique lace and topped with a Dresden ornament sits on the butler’s desk while holly and gold balls decorate the mantel. Wax fruit, which was used in 1850s decorations, also sits on the table.
The parlor, staged by Sandy Miller, features a decorated Christmas tree and fireplace mantle that would have been popular in the 1830s to 1850s.
Volunteers have also adorned the stairwell and front room in beautiful holiday décor that is sure to get visitors in a festive mood.
The tour will also feature the Iconic Suffragette Exhibit by Kathy Dowd, curator of the Maumee Valley Historical Society. The exhibit, which is located on the second floor of the home, incorporates photos, posters, clothing and memorabilia that was used during the suffrage movement.
“You will get a glimpse into the struggles, motivation and triumph of the brave women and their supporters that shared the ideals, struggles and ambitions of the iconic suffragette,” Dowd wrote in her description of the display.
Also on display is a Redwork quilt exhibit, which was donated to the Maumee Valley Historical Society by Gretchen Schultz, the former owner of the Quilt Foundry.
Redwork is an American form of embroidery that was developed in the 19th century using one piece of fabric, one needle and one color of thread or floss. The patterns were available through newspapers and magazines. Squares of preprinted fabric, called penny squares, were available for a penny or a nickel. Because supplies were affordable, the quilts often served beginning sewers, like children who were working to hone their skills.
The Wolcott House Holiday Tours will take place on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tours will begin on Friday, November 5 and run through Saturday, December 18. Reservations are not needed. Admission is $4.00 for seniors, $5.00 for adults and $2.50 for students. For more information, please visit the website at https://sites.google.com/view/maumeevalleyhistoricalsociety/home or call the museum at (419) 893-9602.