Christmas at Glendower offers tours of historic mansion

This time of year it’s all about the decorations.

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How to go

What: Christmas at Glendower 2016

When: Through Jan. 8, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day.) Plan about one hour to tour the house. Tours are given on a drop-in basis beginning at 1 p.m. Plan to arrive no later than 4:30 p.m. (Glendower has an abundance of stairs and is not handicap accessible.)

Where: Glendower Mansion, 105 Cincinnati Ave., Lebanon

Admission: Adults, $8; seniors 65 and older, $7; students ages 5 to 18, $5. Children younger than 5 get in free. Tickets may be purchased with cash at the door, or may be purchased online with a credit card. Online tickets are good for one-time use for Christmas at Glendower any day that the mansion is open.

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Christmas at Glendower 2016 will offer guests a guided tour of a historic, circa 1840 Greek-Revival mansion that is decorated for the holidays.

Guided tours are offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 8.

“The house is decorated for the holidays. Our volunteer, curator staff begin decorating in October, and it takes about six weeks to decorate. Their mandate is to do the house justice. It’s supposed to be beautiful and slightly over-the-top. It also reflects the elegant nature of the house, and gives guests ideas they can implement in their own homes,” said Victoria Van Harlingen, executive director, Warren County Historical Society.

Overlooking downtown Lebanon, the mansion was built in 1845 and named Glendower by its original owner, John Milton Williams in honor of the Welsh prince, Owen Glendower. Williams, a local attorney and his wife, Mary, resided in the mansion with live-in servants. Other distinguished owners of the home have included Durbin Ward, a well-known attorney, statesman and Civil War general.

“The mansion is noted as one of the finest examples of residential Greek Revival architecture, anywhere in the country. It has been written up in magazines and books for years, as one of the finest examples of that type of architecture,” said Van Harlingen.

The home is beautiful as it stands. The mansion has about a 4.5-acre yard and delightful gardens, but at Christmas it’s all about the decorations, and the grandness of the house, she said.

Tour highlights include four mannequin Christmas trees. There is also a collection of stuffed and ceramic lambs, donated by Mr. and Mrs. David Wilson of Lebanon, which decorate the nursery. The doll house is another popular feature.

Christmas at Glendower tours have been offered since 1945. More than 1,000 guests from all over typically visit each December.

Guided tours are also offered in June, July and August. Additionally, there is a Civil War Encampment that is held the end of September. A Jane Austen event was offered last year, and will be offered again in 2017 on May 6.

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