STRONGSVILLE – The historic village was abuzz with Christmas cheer, decorations and activities during the first weekend of December. It will be open again for guests of all ages Dec. 13 and 14, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Each year, the village is decked out in holiday décor – mostly true to the period of the homes. It is a free event that is a fun activity for all. Guests begin at the Victorian-era Lathrop House, and make their way to the Chapman House, where they can meet with Santa Claus and create gingerbread houses to cap off their holiday outing.

Each year, the theme is a little different after volunteers from the Strongsville Historical Society spend the preceding weeks bringing the holidays of the past to life.

“Everything is put together by the volunteers. People worked in each house to get ready – and it opened early this year for the city’s lighting ceremony,” said member Eve Hawk.

The village and all the buildings were open to guests during the city’s annual celebration and lighting of the commons. A train took people to the village and then back to the commons after they had a chance to see the decorations and learn about the history that can be found in the village.

At the Christmas event each weekend, guests have the chance to take a little more time and explore all that the village has to offer. This year, the Bristol family – who are regulars at many of the village’s events – did old-fashioned crafts with the children in the log cabin. In the Roe-Chapman House, the Girl Scouts helped the young guests make gingerbread houses.

The Girl Scouts are always a staple at the event. Many girls were on the property volunteering their time. Besides making gingerbread houses, they also served as docents in the houses. They welcomed the guests, told stories about the history of the homes and helped guide people through the village.

Breanna Gerogosian was one of the Girl Scouts, and was spending her weekend afternoon volunteering in the Lathrop House, which dates back to the 1870s.

“I’ve always loved the historical society,” Gerogosian said. “I picked this house to be a docent in because I love how it looks decorated in the Victorian era.”

Along with the Christmas decorations and activities, the historical society was also hosting an afternoon tea that served as a fundraiser. It was sold out each of the two days, and ultimately brought in about $2,000 for the society. Ladies who attended enjoyed tea, sandwiches, scones and sweets in an old-fashioned style.

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