Blog written by guest blogger, Jeannie Short of Lebanon, OH
My traditional visit to the Glendower Historic Mansion during the Christmas season certainly did not disappoint this year. We chose a snowy Friday to tour this beautiful Greek revival residence that overlooks the historic town of Lebanon.
This circa 1840 home was built by Amos Bennett for John Milton Williams, a native of Lebanon and prominent lawyer. Williams was proud of his Welsh ancestry and named his home after Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh person to hold the title of the Prince of Wales. Williams was the first of three owners before the mansion became a museum — owned and operated by the Warren County Historical Society.
During December, the Glendower is ornamented for the holidays. For 2013, each room was decorated with a Christmas song in mind. Guests were captivated by a beautiful floor-to-ceiling tree in the front sitting room that was decorated with hundreds of poinsettias and white lights. We only spent a few moments admiring the tree, but it would take a lot longer to appreciate the entire room!
Next on the tour, we were directed into the warming kitchen where eggnog and cookies were offered to visitors while the museum guides shared the history of the residence and the people who once lived there. In the corner of the kitchen was another beautifully decorated Christmas tree that seemed to compliment the rest of the room perfectly.
The furnishings of each room are authentic to the period and style of 19th Century living. Many of the walls display painted portraits of Glendower residents and early citizens of Lebanon. Our tour guide did a great job informing us of the significance of each room and even demonstrated how some of the household items were used.
My personal favorite was the ladies’ parlor on the second floor. The soft pink and mint green décor was inspired by both the wallpaper and the song: Mary, Did You Know. The table was set with silver bird nests and butterflies to match those used on the corner tree. According to our tour guide, this room would have been used as a gathering place for the ladies to have tea and share local gossip, while the men would socialize in the gentlemen’s library.
The gentlemen’s library was one of the brightest rooms in the house, making it the perfect place for reading and writing. The room resembled a modern-day man den where the man of the house would occasionally enjoy a cigar by the fire. It was no surprise that my son liked this room the best.
My son and I enjoyed our experience at the Glendower. It was a wonderful way to move into the holiday season and appreciate one of Lebanon’s most charming architectural jewels.
A visit to the Glendower Mansion is highly recommended during the holiday season! For more information about the Glendower Mansion including hours and directions, visit the Warren County Historical Society here.
[Historic information taken from The Glendower Mansion by John J. Zimkus]