Wolcott House Opens To Tours And Plans Native Flower Planting

The Wolcott House sits at 1035 River Rd. in Maumee and is open to tours on Saturdays at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. MIRROR PHOTOS BY KRISTI FISH
On the Wolcott Heritage Center grounds sits the Gilbert-Flanigan house, a yellow farmhouse from the 1840s. On Saturday, May 27, the staff at Wolcott is inviting local children to help plant native flowers on the grounds and sunflowers around the farmhouse while it is open from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free tours of the yellow farmhouse and lemonade will be provided.

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Area residents can now walk through history on Saturdays in Maumee.

The Wolcott Heritage Center is open for the season, with tours on Saturdays at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Docents can provide information on the Wolcott House and several other properties on the 6-acre grounds.

“You can tour all of the buildings or just some of them when you come for a tour,” site manager Tonya Haynes said.

The main building, the Wolcott House, was home to James and Mary Wolcott in the 1830s and ’40s and was handed down through three more generations of Wolcott daughters before the home was purchased by the city of Maumee and turned into a portion of the Wolcott Heritage Center.

“This was originally a log house that was built when they moved here,” Haynes said. “From it, they built the rest of the house.”

The rest of the house includes 14 rooms filled with three historical exhibits: Fifty Treasures, Raggedy Ann: The First “All American” Doll and The Iconic Suffragette.

Fifty Treasures is a collection of historical accessories including cravats, boater hats, bonnets, fans and children’s galoshes. The items fill the judge’s office – James Wolcott was a judge – the ladies’ parlor and the dining room. Each of these rooms was slowly added to the original log home over the years.

When tours finish on the main floor, they travel through the foyer where an original lamp – once fueled by whale oil, then gas and finally electricity – lights up the old black walnut staircase leading to the upstairs.

At the top of the stairs is the master bedroom with the original four-poster bed. The Iconic Suffragette exhibit is in the next room.

“We decided to extend The Iconic Suffragette exhibit. We had it open in November and December last year, but we wanted more people to get to see it,” Haynes said.

Tours then move on to the toy room, where the new Raggedy Ann exhibit features three generations of Raggedy Ann dolls from the same family, along with handmade Raggedy Ann dolls available for purchase.

After tours finish in the Wolcott House, guests have more areas to explore on the grounds, including the log house, Maumee Clover Leaf Depot, Monclova Country Church, Box Schoolhouse and the Gilbert-Flanigan House, or farmhouse.

“We call that the farmhouse. It is the yellow house,” Haynes said. “That is an example of a working farmhouse.”

On Saturday, May 27, the Center will be offering free tours of the farmhouse for children of all ages who wish to help with planting native plants on the grounds.

“I’m inviting children to come plant native plants around the farmhouse,” Haynes said. “We’re also going to plant some sunflowers by our outhouse.”

According to Haynes, sunflowers were a common site around outhouses and the plantings are a way to maintain a feeling of authenticity on the outside of the buildings as well as the inside. Children of all ages are encouraged to stop by on Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to help plant and enjoy a free tour of the farmhouse and some free lemonade.

The Wolcott Heritage Center, located at 1035 River Rd. in Maumee, is open for tours at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, $2.50 for students and free for Maumee Valley Historical Society members. Reservations are not required.

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