Hallways lead to fascinating treasures

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, June 6, 2009

Let’s talk about the upstairs hallways at the Lawrence County Historical Museum.

Leading to the second floor is the beautiful staircase, with its rich woodwork. At Christmas it is always decorated so tastefully.

At the top of the stairs you will find a bookcase that is original to the house and is custom built for the space. Many of the books in it belonged to the Gray family. Some are yearbooks. There is also a table with interesting books and booklets about Lawrence County. Feel free to stop a moment and look over these items.

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At the other end of the hallway is a door and behind it a set of steps leading to the tower. We have been told by people who used to visit the Gray family that the tower was a favorite place for the children to sleep in the summer. During the Christmas season you will see a tree glowing from a window there.

There is also a display honoring Mrs. Ohio 1962 Wanda Gillette. She donated her gown, crown and other items and they are on a beautiful mannequin in a glass case. The Gillettes are from eastern Lawrence County.

Above the door of each room on the second floor is a transom that pivots, instead of opening out.

On the second floor walls are photographs of Lawrence County sports and visitors always find them interesting.

Downstairs, take a moment to notice that the chairs in the dining room have been redone, the seat and back reupholstered with new fabric. Very pretty.

Remember: On June 27 the museum will host a visit by the Ironton Garden Club. The garden club will present a program on “perfect flower beds.”

Our new docent leaders have been doing a great job and we would welcome any new docents. Stop by the museum and pick up an application.

We now have copies of “The Iron Furnaces of Lawrence County, Ohio.” Compiled by Lori Shafer, they can be purchased at the museum.

Historical fact:

The state bird of Ohio is the cardinal, so named by the Ohio General Assembly. Its scientific name is cardinalis cardinalis.

When Europeans first came to Ohio in the late 1600s, the state was 95 percent forest and cardinals were a rare sight. But as the forests were cleaned the habitat became more suitable for cardinals. By the late 1800s, cardinals had expanded into the modified habitat of Ohio and could be found across the state.