The Victorian Mansion Museum is back
BARNESVILLE — The Victorian Mansion Museum is opening its doors in 2021.
Emery Stewart, president of the Belmont County Historical Society, said it has been a long and unwanted pause.
“I had so many people this past year say ‘we missed the museum.’ We miss the museum. We love that place. It’s our Belmont County Victorian jewel. The last two years we’ve just really begun to celebrate it,” he said.
“We were closed the whole of last year because of the (COVID-19) pandemic. We’re a 26-room building and for social distancing in a Victorian building, that just wasn’t an easy thing to do. Even our board meetings we had at the Presbyterian church,” he said. “Kind of a radical departure from what we’re used to, having a Victorian, cozy up-close thing.”
“We’re planning to reopen the first of May, on Saturday. We’ll be open weekends this year, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the afternoon.”
Stewart said extensive cleaning is being scheduled, and upcoming tentative programs include a rose tea the last Friday and Saturday of June. A Red, White and Blue spectacular quilt show will be held mid-July until the end of September when the museum closes. It will be held in cooperation with the National Road Quilt Show.
“Our tea in June will be something different. We’re going to attempt to do a Victorian porch tea, once again observing COVID,” he said. “We’ll have seating out on our Victorian porch, which we’ve just recently had restored four years ago with Belmont County Tourism grants. It’s back close to what the original porch was. We can accommodate 20 people on the porch, weather permitting.”
If not, there is room inside to accommodate 20 in the first seating and 20 in the second.
Stewart said the Christmas celebration was another event sorely missed.
“We have a magnificent Christmas show that we just weren’t able to stage this time. A lot of shows were cut back.”
More than 20 rooms will be decorated in a Victorian manner. The Christmas displays will open the Saturday following Thanksgiving, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday until mid-January.
“It’s a chance to step back to Victorian times, when Santa Claus was referred to as Father Christmas.” “In the past, we’ve had Father Christmas listen to the wishes of the young kids. … Whether we’re going to do that or not, I can’t say, because the person who helps out with that has been ill this past year.”
A popular Christmas tea will be held the first weekend of December, Friday and Saturday.
“We traditionally have that rose tea or a wedding tea in June as an opening event. We didn’t have it last year because of COVID. People weren’t traveling and we were having a hard time finding people to work on a volunteer basis. Everybody just didn’t know what was happening. That’s passing now, as they say, and as we come out of this COVID nightmare, I think we can get closer to what we’d like to have for normalcy.”
“We’re still hesitant to plan big activities. I don’t know if people are going to travel too much this summer, and if they do travel, I don’t know if they’re going to go to older places where they’re somewhat more confined than the malls or the big areas,” he said. “We’ve got things planned and we’ll see what happens.”
The museum is always interested in volunteer help. The phone number is 740-695-0766 and it is located at 532 North Chestnut Street, Barnesville.