by LCVB staff member Elizabeth Connor

Home for the Holidays, Victorian Style

Victorian Christmas card

Perhaps you would like a little historical celebration this Christmas season?

The Lake County History Center will open its doors for “Home for the Holidays” tomorrow for a three-day celebration of lavish holiday decorations, unique hand crafted gifts, elaborate edible gifts, engaging historic displays, fully stocked gift shop, turn of the century music boxes and a relaxing café for a light lunch!  The music boxes immediately bring you back to that nostalgic feeling of warmth that makes all our holidays so enjoyable.

The Center is housed in an 1876 Victorian institutional building, once serving as the Lake County Home. Located on Route 84 in Painesville Township, just west of Riverside High School, the Center is only minutes from I-90 at the Rt. 44 north exit. The over 8,000 square foot main floor is lavishly decorated in Victorian holiday splendor. Volunteers, under the direction of Marian Redmond, Chuck Nagy, Jean Benson and Evelyn Gibbs have been working since mid-October to make the Center a truly breath taking holiday stop. There are nearly two dozen trees decorated in ornaments, fabric, feathers, lights, dried flowers and more to intrigue guests and to encourage them to create fascinating décor in their own homes. Visitors will find the glorious decorations interspersed with the museum galleries and exhibit spaces, so learning a little of local history along the way is part of the fun and what continues to make “Home for the Holidays” different from most area craft shows. New exhibits opening for the holidays include one of late 19th century entertaining and entertainment in Lake County and an opportunity to learn more about President Garfield’s family, beginning with Lucretia and her love of hand painting china. Guests arriving on opening day will have the opportunity to meet Lucretia herself, portrayed by Debbie Weinkamer telling the first lady’s story!

A not to miss experience is a stop at the “Magical Musical Machines” demonstration. This collection of turn of the century music boxes is part of the Music Box Society International collection which can only be viewed in nine locations in the entire United States. The many music boxes will be demonstrated throughout the 3-day event. Once through the exhibit and gallery areas, guests can view some of the beautifully handmade gifts from area crafters in jewelry, wood, textiles, ceramic and more. The LCHS gift shop is also fully stocked with high quality and well-priced goods including work from local crafters, Victorian dolls, children’s toys, Civil War materials, books on local history, exquisite ornaments and more.

One of the high points of this event is a trip into Heritage Hall, dominated by a tree that reaches nearly 15 feet to the ceiling. The Hall has been turned into “The Grand Emporium” filled with beautifully baked and lavishly wrapped edible gifts and hostess gift baskets. Whether shopping for a gift to take to the neighbors, teachers or for home tables, the stunning food gifts sell out every year and are a strong fund raiser for this event. Guests looking for a relaxing place to have a light lunch, the Emporium Café, under the direction of Debbie Simpson and LCHS volunteers will be serving delicious soup and sandwiches for a moderate price. This event offers much for young and old alike and there are places for older guests to sit and relax. Moms will delight in having their youngsters meet Father Christmas and receive a treat from this unique character. Photo opportunities will also be available with him. The event opens at 11am and closes at 5pm tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. Admission is $2. For more information, call 440-639-2945 for this event or other holiday events at the Center. The Lake County History Center is located at 415 Riverside Drive in Painesville Township, 44077.

We look forward to seeing you there!

About Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor is our Social Media Specialist. She has been with the Bureau since 2012 and manages our e-newsletters, blog, and social networking.

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