BARNESVILLE - Experience "the Magic of Christmas" through Victorian eyes at the Victorian Mansion Museum's annual Christmas tours. This year the theatrical dolls of West Virginia artist Pete Ballard join the permanent acquisitions of the Mansion and are part of many of the holiday displays.
"Each doll is a work of art in itself, and we're delighted to have them," said board chair Emery Stewart III. Ballard donated 12 three-foot tall dolls in full costume and 30 busts in period dress to the Belmont County Historical Society.
Local decorators and BCHS board members volunteer time and materials to create the magic, and the tours are a Christmas tradition for many. The 2013 decor includes antique ribbon in the Inglenook, an 1898 crazy quilt in one of the bedrooms, 36 Victorian clocks, dried hydrangeas from the mansion plantings and a collection of 65 nutcrackers in the music room.
Opulent ornaments and bountiful bows are characteristic of the “Magic of Christmas” decor at the Victorian Mansion Museum.
Each room in the Victorian Mansion Museum is done differently and incorporates the home’s architecture with its collections and festive decorations.
This bedroom makes spirits bright with its colorful tree and gracious hostess, one of the dolls donated to the museum by artist Pete Ballard.
Antique ornaments, doilies and quilts decorate one of the bedrooms on the second floor.
The Mansion’s music room takes a slight departure this year from featuring music and instruments to featuring one of the season’s musical characters.
Stewart, who decorated several areas, extends his appreciation to these decorators giving their time and talents to make the Mansion Museum sparkle: Jeffrey VanHorn; Donna Hirauk, Kathy Gibeaut, Sue Milhorn and Cheryl Thompson, all members of the Flushing Garden Club; Carolyn Stephen; Becky Keylor; Kathy Moxie; Paula Doudna; Pauline Doudna; Addison Geiger; Tracy Geiger; Terri Wootoon, Debbie Gray, Thelma Monbarren, and Carolyn Dickson from the Hospice of Guernsey, Inc.; Mollie Calhoun, Susan McGary and Shayna, Mackenzie, Marrisa, Hallee and Edyn McGary; Nancy Gallagher; Melanie Bates; Pam Milburn; Barbara Hinkle; Susan McCracken; Susan Folmar; Sandra Lemmon; Bobbie Moore; Anita Rogers; the museum decorating committee; Judy Craig.
The mansion is located at 532 North Chestnut St. in Barnesville. It is open for tours Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. until Sunday, Dec. 22. Tours are available by appointment from Dec. 23 to Jan. 12. Admission fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-18. Private tours for groups of 10 or more are available at a reduced rate by reservation only. For more information, call: (740) 423-2343, (740) 425-1112, (740) 425-2273 or (740) 484-4716.
Regular visitors will notice that the large tree in the ballroom has been scaled down this season. Stewart notes that this is to make room for dancing at the New Year's Eve Party, Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., where a DJ will be spinning standard and popular tunes. There will be food, games and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $25 per person and are available from board members or by calling the phone numbers listed above. Advance reservations are required by Dec. 23, and the event is "bring your own beverage."
Teas and private parties at the mansion are also popular this time of year. To book private events for 10 or more, contact Judy Craig at (740) 695-0766. To book weddings or showers, call Sherry McClellan at (740) 425-2343. For general information, visit www.barnesvilleohio.com/ belmontcountymuseum.