By ANN MORRISON

The Post staff writer

The Strongsville Historic Village was the backdrop to one of the city's annual holiday traditions on Dec. 3 and 4 as it was abuzz with holiday happenings. Complete with Santa Claus, gingerbread houses, tea time and more, the first weekend of the event was a great success. Those who missed out will still have the opportunity to take advantage of Christmas in the Historic Village during the weekend of Dec. 10 and 11.

The five houses, school building and general store that make up the historic landmark date back to the early 1800s, and were each carefully decorated by members of the historical society to replicate the themes of each era. The beautiful Lathrop House, a Victorian-era home, was decorated in an ornate, elegant style. It featured many natural elements, such as hydrangeas, pinecones, feathers and more. Table settings were elaborate and spoke to the timeframe of the home, the early 1870s.

"We are preserving the history of Strongsville, and with this event each year we can really show people what Strongsville has to offer. It has become a family tradition for many people, and it's nice to see people come through the village and appreciate the history that is right here," said Sonia Scheeler-Reber, a member of the historical society.

The Lathrop House was also the home of the annual Christmas tea. Ladies gathered for tea, snacks and desserts, and enjoyed Christmas music played by local volunteers.

Each of the buildings had activities and decorations to please guests of all ages. Children had the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses with the help of local Girl Scouts in the Roe-Chapman House, which dates back to the early 1900s. There, they also visited with Santa and told him their wishes for the year. While in the home, families were surrounded by history and could appreciate the Chapman family's love of children.

"The children's events are always in the Chapman House. That's what the family would have liked to see and it's so nice to fill it up with children every year," said Scheeler-Reber.

Girl Scouts also volunteered their time as docents in the buildings, and guided visitors on a historical tour through the city's past. The Scouts, along with volunteers from the historical society, made the event possible with the many hours that were spent in preparation and throughout the weekend.

"This is a labor of love for so many of us. It's such a joy for us to share this with everybody in Strongsville," Scheeler-Reber said.

The village will be open again Dec. 10 and 11 from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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