Arms Museum will deck halls with vintage Christmas decor

Staff report


“Memories of Christmas Past,” the Arms Family Museum annual holiday exhibition, will open Saturday and run through Jan. 5.

Now in its sixth year, the exhibition transforms the museum, which is located in a 1905 mansion built by early industrialists Olive and Wilford Arms, into a sparkling holiday wonderland from years gone by. The seven period rooms of the former Arms Family home will be filled with rare, one-of-a-kind, vintage decorations, including ornaments, lighting, trees and toys. This display will feature pieces from the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s collection, as well as items on loan from private collectors.

On opening weekend, Saturday and Nov. 24, visitors will be admitted for half-price if they bring in canned goods for 21 WFMJ-TV’s Project Feed Our Valley, which benefits Second Harvest Food Bank.

Christmas memories often revolve around family traditions, and “Memories of Christmas Past” will spark those memories with collections that include doll candy containers and silk fringe Christmas cards; Annalee Christmas themed plush figures; a collection of nativities from around the world glass Christopher Radko ornaments; handmade felt ornaments; chenille and cotton Santa ornaments; vintage Victorian scrap and tinsel ornaments; a tree of Plakie Twinkler ornaments; and a Smoky Hollow Christmas dinner in the dining room.

The downtown shopping experience, a fond memory for many Valley residents, will be highlighted in a second floor gallery with store displays from McKelvey’s and Strouss, and the Solarium will feature a tree with natural dried decorations from Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The old-fashioned exhibition is so detailed that it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one walk-through. Therefore, visitors are welcome to make multiple passes on their self-guided tours.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a display of 19th Century Christmas artifacts, decorations and craft projects in the Anne Kilcawley Christmas Hands-On History Room.

The Arms Family Museum is at 648 Wick Ave. It is open Tuesday through Sunday (except holidays) from 1-5 p.m. (1-8 p.m. on Thursday). Admission is $6 ($5 for senior citizens; $4 for children 18 and under; $3 if under 3).

Special weekend events that include author visits, Santa Claus, lectures and workshops are scheduled. For dates and information, go to or call 330-743-2589.

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