The Victorian Perambulator Museum is owned by two retired teachers from Ashtabula County.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- An Ashtabula County museum is interested in moving into the city.
The Victorian Perambulator Museum in Jefferson has expressed an interest in moving its display of 185 antique baby carriages.
"They just fell in love with the Kinsman House," said Mayor Hank Angelo.
The city-owned house on Mahoning Avenue was built in 1821 by Gen. Simon Perkins as a wedding gift for his daughter. The city hopes to restore the historic home as part of the second phase of its Riverwalk project.
The museum is in discussions with Trolleyville U.S.A. of Cleveland, which also is trying to move to Warren. Nothing has been finalized.
Both Angelo and Michael Keys, executive director of Warren Redevelopment and Planning, said the museum would fit with the city's other historic attractions, including the Upton House and the Packard Museum.
Need more space
"We've been looking to Warren for some time," said Jan Pallo, who owns the museum along with her identical twin sister, Judy Kaminski. "We like the idea of the Packard Museum because we're also a type of transportation museum."
When and if they make a move depends on cost and availability, she said.
The sisters, both retired teachers, like the idea of the city's Riverwalk project, she said.
They also hope to move into a larger space than their Jefferson location affords.
"They really are works of art," Pallo said of the carriages. "They're handmade pieces."
The collection includes carriages shaped like swans, a gondola, a tulip and a snail.
"It's something you really have to see to appreciate," Pallo said. "Many people say, 'Wow' when they come in the door, and that's just in our first room. We have nine rooms."
Most of the pieces were made in the U.S.A., but some were made in Europe.
The collection also includes antique dolls, wedding dresses, children's books and toys.
The museum has been featured in television shows and national magazines, Pallo said.
The museum attracts about 3,000 visitors each year, but Pallo expects that number to increase if it's promoted as part of a transportation attraction.
"We had some people come all the way from England and they planned their trip to see our museum," she said.
Pallo and Kaminski also just retired from teaching, so they'll have more time to spend at the museum.
The oldest carriage dates to 1850 and was made in the U.S. The sisters have bought pieces from all over the country and have some contacts in other countries as well.
They started collecting about 50 years ago; an antique baby carriage in the family started the sisters on their collection.
"It just kind of blossomed from there," Pallo said.