The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society
New Monthly Article - November 2013
Good morning, and welcome to this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking” sponsored by the Henry County Historical Society. As I put pen to paper, the ground is lightly covered with our first snow of the season, and there’s a chill in the air. That means our beautiful Christmas open house can’t be far behind!
This year’s tour will be the weekend of December 14th and 15th. Saturday the 14th will be a candlelight walking tour featuring the historic Dr. John Bloomfield House, and joining us again this year are Emanuel Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church. Follow the luminaries and you’ll find your way to the beauty and magic of Christmas. We’re also sharing something new this weekend. We want you to visit our log cabin located at the Henry County Fairgrounds for a very special Christmas open house—more about that in a moment. Saturday tour hours are 5-8 pm. Sunday hours are 1-4 pm and will again feature the Bloomfield House and log cabin. All events are free.
Now let’s take a look at the Bloomfield House and its theme of Holiday Harmonies. Upon crossing the threshold into the entry room, you’ll find it dressed in silver, white and pink. And like a fine woman, the room is dripping in pearls. The room is accessorized with over 100 angels, graciously loaned to us from the private collection of one of our members.
Next to the entry, is the parlor, our designated music room. A 9 foot tree graces the front window and it’s filled with all things musical. On loan, you’ll spot a trumpet near the top of the tree, and from our own collection, look for the clarinet, saxophone and violin, with dulcimers under the tree. Hues of gold, silver and pink complete the decorations along with sheet music fans. You can also enjoy our beautiful organ and a lovely small harp displayed on the organ. The angel collection spills over into the parlor as well.
The dining room is resplendent in rich and regal burgundies and pinks. The stunning magnolia and hydrangea tree, with its jewel toned accents, is displayed in the bay window. Take a moment to enjoy the two new collections on display in the dining room, donated by Joan Borstelman. The “new” moss rose china collection and the beautiful cranberry glass collection glisten throughout the room, serving as the perfect accents to this gorgeous space.
Rounding out the downstairs is the kitchen. Again we are fortunate to have yet another collection loaned to us for the open house. A lovely grouping of flow blue china is displayed on the wall and throughout the kitchen. You’ll see plates, pitchers, salts and butter pats, which all compliment the blue and silver Christmas décor. We thank Rose and Henry Weimken for sharing their treasures.
Moving upstairs, it’s a red, white and blue extravaganza in the boy’s room! Our Americana teddy bear collection adds to the whimsy of the room. The beautiful armoire, donated by Nancy Rettig, is filled with antique games, loaned by Ms. Rettig as well. All the ornaments on the tree are antique, as are the toys placed throughout the room. You can also see how the world has changed as you check out the antique globes loaned to us by Jean Bremer.
The girl’s room is filled with international dolls and antique china dolls. Take note of the period children’s clothing and the antique doll clothes. If you were part of the Mom & Me program in 2003-2004, your handprint quilt is also displayed.
The master bedroom is pink, floral and feminine! A miniature shoe collection , on loan from Janice Knepley, fills the tabletop tree on the dressing table, and you’ll also see a collection of antique shoe hooks nearby. The room is also decked out with luxury furs from our own collection, an early quilt display and a wonderful sewing vignette in the closet.
The bathroom is worth a look where you will see the beautiful collection of shaving mugs, donated by the Ralph Steele family.
You’re probably asking “How did these women get all this done?” Well, we didn’t. All the interior decorating was done by one person, our very own talented Jean Bremer. Jean had a vision of how the house should be decorated, and we let her run with it! The results are amazing! As you enter the house and walk around the back, you’ll notice all the natural greenery decorating the urns, along with the wonderful pine wreaths adorning the doors. Thank you Mary Weaks for sharing your talents and love of nature!
New this year to our open house will be your visit to our log cabin at the fairgrounds. Here you will experience “A Warm Log Cabin Christmas”. There will be no electricity, just the glow of kerosene lamps and the crackling fire to keep warm. The scents of cinnamon and pine will welcome you as you enter, and you’ll enjoy the authentic homespun look throughout the cabin. Homemade garland will adorn the fireplace, and make sure you sample the savory snacks and cider, reminiscent of days gone by. We would like to sincerely thank Byrde Thielman for her vision and wonderful work in putting together the log cabin visit.
As mentioned, Emanuel Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church are extending an invitation to everyone to visit during the Saturday night candlelight hours. The churches will be showcasing their Christmas finery, music, and in some cases, light snacks will be served. After your visit to the Bloomfield and the churches, take time to wind down with a glass of wine at participating downtown merchants. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day!
So to recap our hours: Saturday December 14th will be the candlelight tour from 5-8 pm featuring the Bloomfield House, the log cabin and the churches. Sunday’s hours are from 1-4 pm for the Bloomfield House and log cabin. We hope to see you there!
The Historical Society would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and as always, thank you for helping us keep history alive!
The content that used to be here on the homepage can now be found HERE. We wll make it easier to find in the near future.
The Henry County Historical Society was formed in 1970 to perpetuate the history of Henry County, Ohio, to learn about and preserve the artifacts of the county, and to generate interest in the past of the county. Our primary focus at this time is the completion of the restoration work on the beautiful Dr. John Bloomfield Victorian home, built circa 1879. This house is located at the corner of West Clinton and Webster streets in downtown Napoleon, across from the Napoleon Public Library. The house has been completely restored and is decorated with authentic period furnishings. Work is in progress on the carriage house and gardens. The home is open for special events, educational programs and private tours. We welcome new and old members alike to lend a hand and help us in our many programs and activities.
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