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Wheeling's spectacular kitchens

Secret Kitchens tour and gourmet market set for June 8

May 18, 2013
Times Leader

WHEELING - The kitchens we all dream of - sleek and modern, cozy and traditional, packed with imagination and innovation - don't just exist in magazine spreads and decorating shows. They are tucked away in some of Wheeling's finest neighborhoods.

Area residents will enjoy a voyeuristic opportunity to get up close and personal with some of these spectacular kitchens as the Museums Committee of Oglebay Institute presents its summer fundraiser, the Secret Kitchens of Wheeling Tour and Gourmet Market.

This summertime excursion takes place Saturday, June 8 and begins at 9 a.m. at Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum in Oglebay Resort. The culinary curious will enjoy a self-guided tour at their own pace as well as strolling the brick pathways adjacent to the Mansion Museum, which will be transformed into a gourmet marketplace featuring more than 30 vendors.

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Area residents can get up close and personal with some of Wheeling’s spectacular kitchens as the Museums Committee of Oglebay Institute presents its summer fundraiser, the Secret Kitchens of Wheeling Tour and Gourmet Market, which takes place June 8. Pictured are co-chairs of the Secret Kitchens Tour Charlotte Karges, left, and Sherry Hearne, right.

Featured kitchens include: a modern farmhouse kitchen featuring renewable materials and inviting views of the outdoors; a cozy kitchen with powerful punches of color and a decorating style that incorporates art and antiques; a chic, modern kitchen that is elegant and practical for a busy family on the go and a warm and efficient kitchen perfect for those who like convenience and low maintenance.

Event organizers say guests will get ideas to take back to their own homes whether they are interested in a total kitchen re-do or simple, easy and cost efficient ways to transform their existing kitchen into a more beautiful and inviting space.

"Everyone can walk away from this event with plenty of design inspiration," said Oglebay Institute director of museums Christin Byrum, "from clever details and whimsical decorating touches to creative uses of space and unique eating surfaces, work spaces and storage areas."

Byrum said this bi-annual event is always popular because people love to marvel at and talk about great kitchen design.

"Kitchens are more than just a place to cook and eat. They are often the gathering spot of the home. Every homeowner wants the kitchen to be attractive, yet livable and also reflect his or her personal style. This tour is a great way to get creative ideas flowing," she said.

In addition to the tour, guests can shop the Gourmet Market, which features a variety of merchants and artisans selling items such as kitchen accessories, plants and herbs, cookbooks, pottery, candles, artwork, baskets, gourmet foods and spices, cookware, cutlery and more.

Wheeling residents Charlotte Karges and Sherry Hearne co-chair this fundraiser for the Museums of Oglebay Institute. Chairs of the vendors market, Stephanie Grove, Barbara Ruben and Angela Zambito Hill turn the brick pathways of Oglebay's Burton Center into an extraordinary marketplace. Other committee members also assist them. Event sponsors are Hughes Design and Gift Gallery of Wheeling and Tim's Custom Installation Inc. of St. Clairsville. All proceeds from the event support the Museums.

To discover whose kitchens are being featured, arrive at the Mansion Museum between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., June 8. Guests will purchase a ticket and receive a detailed map to find each of the secret kitchens. Names will be revealed then - and only then.

The last tickets are sold at 2 p.m., and guests have until 4 p.m. to take the self-guided tour. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Mansion Museum and is free to the public.

Gourmet Market vendors include: Origami Owl, Jewelry By Jane, Premier Designs, Finishing Touches, Thirty One, Dolce Pizzelles, Rainiecreations, Gold Canyon Candles, Tastefully Simple, Janet Hart Watercolors, Yardscape, Sterling Rose, Silvermind, Cecy Rose Artwork & Al Fitzpatrick Jewelry, Scentsy, The Clothes Collection, Lynn Buch Interiors, Paparazzi by Mandy, Linn Pottery Studio, Middle Mountain Acres, RADA Cutlery, Misty Mountain Estate, BeautiControl, Tupperware, Celebrating Home/Penelope Ann, Stella and Dot, Young Living Essential Oils, That's The Spot! Massage Therapy, Celadon Road, Bob's Woodturning. More vendors are being added to the schedule.

Advanced admission for the Secret Kitchens Tour is $17 each and can be purchased by calling the Mansion Museum at 304-242-7272 or online at

Cost is $20 the day of the tour.

The public is welcome to shop the Secret Kitchens Gourmet Market even if they choose not to tour the kitchens.

"The marketplace is free and open to the public. Even those not going on the home tour are invited to stop by and see how products from these quality vendors can spice up their own homes," Byrum said.

The Museums of Oglebay Institute include both the Mansion and Glass Museums, located in Oglebay, and offer the public an elegant glimpse into the past. Once the summer home of millionaire philanthropist Earl W. Oglebay, the Mansion Museum offers 13 period rooms, brimming with antique treasures and local history artifacts, along with the Wymer General Store and Sinclair Pharmacy collections and a changing exhibit in the Sauder Gallery. The nearby Glass Museum houses the finest collection of Wheeling glass in the country.

Self-guided tours of both museums are offered daily. For more information, please call the museums at 304-242-7272.



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