Decade-long Christmas exhibit opens once again at Arms Family Museum

The display features many rare and vintage pieces from the Mahoning Valley Historical Society's collection

This is the tenth year for the exhibit, which is held in the 1905 Arts & Crafts style mansion, home of Olive and Wilford Arms and part of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Arms Family Museum unveiled its Memories of Christmas Past exhibit last weekend, just in time for the Christmas season to begin.

This is the tenth year for the exhibit, which is held in the 1905 Arts & Crafts style mansion, home to Olive and Wilford Arms and part of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

So, to celebrate 10 years, the Historical Society decorated the museum with its all-time best displays in hopes of breaking the attendance record of 6,000. Last week, they saw over 300 visitors.

This year, the Historical Society has taken the most requests into consideration when decorating than they ever have.

Anthony Worrellia coordinates the decoration and creation of each display. He says a few of the displays include requests of bright lights, trains and peacocks.

“People have requested to see [a] shiny, bright room  — there are hundreds of shiny brights in here. We have a vignette with a train in it. We also in the dining room have a peacock on the table, which is a common motif in the arts and crafts movement in which the house was designed,” he said.

It takes about eight weeks to fully transform the house into the Christmas exhibit, which is set throughout the 1900s and part of the 1800s.

“Being that Mrs. Arms lived in this house from 1905 to 1960, the decorations — even though they’re not her’s — are actually very period to the home. So, we go back to 1900 all way to the 1960s and ’70s,” Worrellia said.

A lot of people tell Worrellia that the decorations seem over the top, but he tells them that nothing is exaggerated. He says the Historical Society uses pictures that document how people in a certain time period would have decorated.

The museum features many rare and vintage pieces from the Historical Society’s collection as well as items on loan from private collectors.

Children are welcome to come too — there’s an interactive room downstairs where they can dress up as an elf, play games and make arts and crafts.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 7. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., but Thursdays are from noon to 7 p.m.

The museum will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day. It is located at 648 Wick Ave.

Admission into the exhibit is $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and $5 for children ages 3-18 (children under 3 are free). This is the last weekend to bring in canned goods to get half off admission.

Visit the official Memories of Christmas Past website to preview the exhibit.

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