“The kids in girl and boy land will have a jubilee, they’re going to build a toy land town all around the Christmas tree.” Staff at The Wolcott House in Maumee have done just that for the museum’s annual holiday guided tours, which started Nov. 18.
This year’s theme is “The Joys and Toys of Christmas Past,” with each room decorated to depict a Christmas of a different era, ranging from the mid-1800s to the 1930s, said curator Marilyn Wendler.
The theme was chosen to showcase some of the museum’s collection that isn’t always seen, said museum store manager Judy Walrod.
“We just started talking about it and we have so many toys that people don’t see,” Walrod said.
Many pieces were taken out of storage to display while others were taken from other parts of the museum and rearranged into Christmas scenes. Displays include children’s tea sets, teddy bears, trains, books, metal toys from the turn of the century and a dollhouse and dolls from around the world, some dating from the 1840s, Wendler said.
One room depicts the 1930s, during the Great Depression, a time period many people have compared to today, Wendler said.
“How did parents cope and manage to buy toys for their children? They had to make do and often hand-made the toys,” Wendler said. “We wanted to try to show what children played with and how they managed to make it during the Depression.”
The Maumee Garden Club decorated a room depicting a turn-of-the-century-era Christmas, including a collection of teddy bears, which became popular during that time because of President Teddy Roosevelt, Wendler said.
Another room, decorated with a Christmas scene from the early Victorian period of the 1850-1860s, features recently installed wallpaper hand-blocked from an original 1930s pattern.
Holiday tours last about an hour and will run Thursday through Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 19. Admission is $3.50 for adults, $3 for seniors and $1.50 for students. The museum, at 1035 River Road in Maumee.
Also coming up at the museum:
Wednesday, Dec. 1: Christmas Tea in the Wolcott House, 1 p.m., $18, reservations required. Tea and holiday food favorites served.
Saturday, Dec. 4: Holiday Tea and Tours in the Wolcott House, 12:30-3:30 p.m., $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors, $2 for students. Tea, hot chocolate and sweets will be served.
Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 16-19: Inventory clearance sale at museum store, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.wolcotthouse.com or call (419) 893-9602.