Oglebay’s Mansion Museum is decked for the holidays

WHEELING — One of the most beloved holiday traditions returns to the Ohio Valley. Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park, Wheeling is now lavishly decorated for the holidays and open to the public for tours through Dec. 31.

Each holiday season since 1973, the Mansion Museum, which was the summer home of wealthy industrialist and philanthropist Earl W. Oglebay, has been trimmed for the holidays by professional decorators and talented amateurs around a holiday theme. These talented decorators carry out the theme in the Mansion’s 13 period rooms, hallways and staircases, using their own unique vision to create stunning results for visitors to enjoy. The decor ranges from simple elegance to the extravagant, and visitors will find decorating inspiration to take back to their own homes.

Sponsored by Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration, this year’s holiday decorating extravaganza is titled “Holiday Magic.”

Featured rooms and decorators include: Outside Visitor Entryway, Nicky’s Garden Center; Welcome Desk, Lendon Floral and Garden; Hallways and Staircase, Scott Klinkoski and Dick Taylor; Dining Room, Joan Berlow-Smith, Jenny Jebbia, Martha Wright and Victoria Yuhase of The Jeweled Bird; Empire Sitting Room, Kristin Irwin and Bev Burke; Federal Bedroom, Yvonne Jacobs of Collectors’ Cottage; Pioneer Kitchen, Jennifer Christmas; Victoria Bedroom, Lynn Maguire and Jeanne Guyer of Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum; Game Room, Mary Fahey of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce; Oval Sitting Room, Michelle Runkle; Mr. Oglebay’s Office, Becky Niess and Connie Ahernf; Sewing Room, Lisa M. Schmitt, Robinson & McElwee PLLC; Empire Bedroom, museum staff; Child’s bedroom, museum staff; Victorian Parlor, Megan Wagner and Jeanette Roupe of Pat Catan’s.

“We are so grateful to our corporate sponsor, the volunteer decorators, our staff and the Mansion Museum Committee members who make this event possible,” Museums director Christin Byrum said. “They invest so much time and money to transform the Mansion Museum into a yuletide dream. This exhibit is a wonderful example of the power of volunteerism and corporate philanthropy.”

Byrum said decorating a historic building is a quite a challenge. Decorators not only have to incorporate design elements around the holiday theme but also create period-appropriate trimmings for the Mansion, which was built in 1846, as well as take special precautions so that period antiques are not damaged.

“It is a balancing act to ensure that the decorators are provided the means to express their creative vision and fulfill our professional responsibilities as stewards of a historic home and the collections within,” she said.

In addition to touring the Mansion, guests can attend special holiday events that are planned for the coming weeks.

∫ The classic ballet “The Nutcracker,” performed by Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance, will take place at 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 2, 9 and 16.

∫ Community carol singing will take place from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 outside the Mansion Museum. Guests can enjoy sitting around a campfire that burns inside a chimney carved in ice, sipping hot chocolate and singing holiday songs. The event is free and open to the public.

Through Dec. 31, the Mansion and Glass Museums are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Guests should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing to allow time to tour. The museums are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Call 304-242-7272 for more information or visit on the web at www.oionline.com.