STRONGSVILLE – The historical society brought back Christmas from the past to visitors at the Strongsville Historic Village Dec. 5 and 6.
Just as they have done for several years, the members and their helpers decorated each of the buildings in the village for the holiday season in the ways of the old days. They have been put together in the same styles as the residents would have done in the early days of Strongsville.
The decorations themselves give a glimpse at how much things have changed – from the minimal and homemade ornaments in the log cabin to the very ornate décor in the Victorian-era Lathrop House.
The Chapman House, which was the beginning of the historic village, is under renovation to be restored to its original charm. It is decorated with the Chapman’s actual furnishings, dishes and décor.
Christmas has always been a particularly special time in the Chapman House. Velda Chapman always wanted her home to be filled with children at Christmas time. Now, that is where the young visitors meet with Santa. In the past, they also made gingerbread houses there, but due to the renovation, that project has been moved to the Lathrop House.
“Mr. and Mrs. Chapman established the historical society so that we could continue to educate our community and share that legacy with the next generations. At this time of year in particular, we really like to focus on the kids, because this is their history as much as anyone’s,” said Sonia Scheeler-Reber.
Some of the younger generation was even volunteering at the holiday event. Hundreds of local Girl Scouts gave their time to learn about the village and become docents, make gingerbread houses with the children and help decorate the buildings.
The village will be open again on Dec. 12 and 13, and it will stay open from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday with more Christmas lights than in years past. It will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The village was decorated along with the Commons for the winter wonderland lighting display, and will stay lit up through the holidays.
Christmas in the Village is free, thanks to the support of the volunteers, the community and sponsors. A great deal of work has been done on the homes in the village during the past year to keep them in good shape and preserve them for the future.
“The community has been very generous at our events and we have been able to do a tremendous amount of work on these houses. We have to address some of these issues or we’re going to lose them, and this village really is so important to our community,” Scheeler-Reber said.