By Aya Khalil
Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
Wildwood Preserve is hosting its annual Holidays in the Manor House.
The Wildwood Manor House is being decorated Dec. 1 and 2 and will be open to the public Dec. 7 through Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Public relations director Scott Carpenter said at least 30 rooms of the mansion will be decorated by volunteers.
The decorations will offer “quite a variety of displays, appealing to children, and some nostalgic grandparents might be interested,” he said.
Decorators apply to volunteer a year ahead of time and some are put on the waiting list, Carpenter said.
Metroparks is expecting 10,000 to 15,000 guests for Holidays in the Manor House, which has been a tradition in Toledo for more than 30 years.
The displays, which feed the holiday spirit, are different each year, Carpenter said.
“It is for fun, but also a historical hall, so it is educational in that sense to tour the house,” he said. “Even if you’ve been there before, it gives you another reason to come back.”
Wildwood is the former family estate of Robert A. Stranahan, Sr., co-founder of Champion Spark Plug. Metroparks purchased the estate grounds, including the family home, in the 1970s.
Completed in 1938 as the Stranahan family home, it is an excellent example of 18th century Georgian colonial architecture, and it is decorated accordingly, Carpenter said. The house, reminiscent of Mount Vernon with a wide front portico, rests on a bluff overlooking a branch of the Ottawa River. The house has 35 primary rooms, 17 bathrooms and 16 fireplaces.
Wildwood is the most visited Metropark in the Toledo area, according to Carpenter.
A Holiday Café & Craft Show, sponsored by Volunteers in Parks, will be hosted during the display. Local crafters will be selling homemade crafts and gifts, and proceeds will go to the Metroparks for different projects. Refreshments will be served.
Visit the Web site http://www.metroparkstoledo.com/metroparks/ for more information.