MERCER Turn-of-century home to star in annual event

The courthouse rotunda is always crowded for the arrival of Santa Claus.
MERCER, Pa. -- Tours of a turn-of-the-century home built by a former Mercer County judge highlight the annual Christmas in Victorian Mercer over the next two weekends.
The house, built by Judge Alfred W. Williams at 334 E. Market St. in 1905, was designed and constructed by Owsley and Boucherle and Co., a Youngstown architectural firm.
The 20-room, three-story, yellow clapboard structure is now the residence of James and Ruth Wingard Jr. and they have agreed to open it for tours as part of the celebration.
The house has stained-glass windows featuring symbols of the law and it is said that Judge Williams, who had worked as a carpenter and builder before turning to the law, supervised every bit of construction.
This is the eighth annual Christmas in Victorian Mercer and, "We've added more events over the years," said Debbie Plant of the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce.
How it's received: As many as 500 people show up at the courthouse for the arrival of Santa Claus that features holiday carol singing and refreshments, she said.
The event draws community-wide support, Plant said, noting that its Festival of Trees has 24 entries so far.
Businesses and individuals decorate trees for the display. Some donate the tree to the festival and those are auctioned off with the chamber and the Salvation Army splitting the profits, Plant said.

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