Holiday decorations at the Ogelabay Institute Mansion Museum

Winter Wonderland! Mansion Museum Decked for the Holidays 

Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Wheeling’s Oglebay Park is lavishly decorated for the holidays and open to the public for tours through Jan. 5.

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 unique vision to create stunning results for visitors to enjoy. The décor 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 “Winter Wonderland.”

Featured rooms and decorators include: Welcome desk, Lendon’s Floral and Garden; hallways and staircase, Scott Klinkoski and Dick Taylor; dining room, Joan Berlow-Smith, Glenn White, Jenny Jebbia and Martha Wright of The Jeweled Bird; pioneer kitchen, Lisa M. Schmitt and Becky Cantrell of Robinson & McElwee PLLC; game room, Lynn Maguire and Jeanne Guyer of the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum; oval sitting room, museum staff; Victorian parlor, Michelle Runkle; Mr. Oglebay’s office, Yvonne Jacobs of Collector’s Cottage; Empire sitting room, Michael’s; Victorian bedroom, Mary Fahey of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce; sewing room, Leanne Main and Shelby Main; Empire bedroom, Jennifer Christmas; Federal bedroom, Lynn Jefferies of Three Labs Salvage; child’s bedroom, museum staff; library, Tom and Judi Tarowsky of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild.

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The Victorian Parlor at the Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum
The Victorian parlor

“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 for the holidays for thousands of visitors to enjoy. This exhibit is a wonderful example of the power of volunteerism and corporate philanthropy.”

Byrum said decorating a historic building is 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. on Dec. 1, 8 and 15.

• Community carol singing will take place from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 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 Jan. 5, the Mansion and Glass Museums are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through 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.

For more information, call 304-242-7272 or visit OI’s web page.