Memories of Christmas Past: Back to Greystone

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets to visit the Arms Family Museum holiday exhibit.  All opinions are my own. 

Those that know me, know just how much I love touring historical homes. I especially love touring them during the holiday season. Volunteers and staff spend countless hours designing, gathering items, and decorating these beautiful homes so that the public can enjoy them during the holidays.

This year, I had the opportunity to visit a home that has been on my bucket list for a few years, Greystone.  Located in Downtown Youngstown, this one-of-a-kind arts and crafts style house was built in 1905 by Olive A. and Wilford P. Arms. The home was occupied by the family through 1960, when the property was gifted to The Mahoning Valley Historical Society. In 1964, the museum opened to the general public.

Christmas Memories

This year the Mahoning Valley Historical Society has again lovingly decorated the Arms Family Museum for the season.  Each room of the home is decorated just as beautiful as the next.  The theme for their 13th year is “Memories of Christmas Past: Back to Greystone”.  The decorations and period outfits featured in this year’s holiday exhibit offer visitors an opportunity to glimpse back in time to when the Arms family lived in the home and celebrated the season.

Arms Family Museum Reception Room
Memories of Christmas Past | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun

Your tour of the home begins in the Reception Room, where your eyes will no doubt focus first on the huge medieval gothic fireplace with its large chains and glowing cauldron, followed by the white feather tree decorated with beautiful German blown glass bird ornaments. Across the room on the stairs leading to the second floor a piece of armor stands guard overlooking as guests make their way to and from.

 

Arms Family Museum Library
The Library – Greystone | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun

 

The grand ivory lace gown worn by Olive Arms around 1900 greets you as you enter the home’s library.  This room is decorated beautifully and included in the display is my favorite tree on the tour, the “iconic crystal tree” that includes over 2,000 prisms. I can only image the hours it took to place each crystal just so.  Other room highlights include a family tea service located on the large library table and the gorgeous mantel and fireplace.

As you move from room to room in this self-guided tour, a docent is stationed nearby to answer any questions you may have.  Take your time in each room.  There are hidden treasurers in every corner.

Arms Family Museum
The Solarium – Arms Family Museum | Photo credit: Diane Rock, MyOhioFun

In the Solarium you will find a special tribute to Olive Arms the artist, including her original artwork. Asian inspired decorations are placed beautifully around the room.  Make sure you look for the owl statue sitting up on his perch. Love his eyes.

Sitting Room Greystone Youngstown Ohio
The Sitting Room – Greystone | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun

 

Maybe it is the warm inviting colors, or the inviting fireplace and holiday decorations that make you want to grab a good book and curl up in a chair in this extremely welcoming sitting room. If only it was not a museum.  When touring this room make sure you check out the featured 1920’s Afternoon Dress, the beautiful tree decorations, the toys placed around the tree, the stained glass windows, and the light fixtures.

Arms Family Museum Memories of Christmas Past

The Dining Room – Greystone | Photo credit: Diane Rock, MyOhioFun

Pheasants, peacocks and birds find their place among the blue colored decorations in the dining room. A room that Olive Arms once wrote: “More than all rooms in the house, I would wish the dining room to express cheer.”.  What a wonderful sentiment for any dining room.

 

Arms Family Museum Youngstown
Arms Family Museum | Photo credit: Diane Rock MyOhioFun

Holiday decorations, beautiful stained glass windows and a double copper sink await you when you step through to the kitchen/pantry area. Dough is even being rolled out for sugar cookies.

The Museum Upstairs

On the second floor of the museum, rooms are broken-up into various exhibits, including an exhibit that features a 1948 Youngstown Kitchen set. Another exhibit features period style formal dresses, and in the Tod Family Treasurers: 19th Century Heirloom exhibit, visitors will get to view a ornately carved bedroom set made of walnut that was originally owned by Ohio’s civil war governor, David Tod, who later served as a U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.

Christmas for the little ones.
Arms Family Museum
Memories of Christmas Past – Arms Family Museum

On the lower lever, the museum has transformed the Anne Kilcawley Christman Hands-On History Room into a Magical Christmas place. I loved how they decorated the log cabin area. Visiting  little eleves also have the opportunity to select one of the free activity craft bags direct from Santa’s Workshop.  The large sleigh, the fun decorations, and a warm cabin setting make the lower level a wonderful spot to take a family photo or a holiday selfie.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
  • Purchase tour tickets on-site at the gift shop directly across from the museum. Allow time to shop all the holiday ornaments.
  • Parking is free.
  • On select Thursdays, the museum is open for Twilight Thursdays.
  • Masks are required on the premises.
  • The admission fee includes a same-day visit to all the Mahoning County Historical Society sites including the Tyler History Center.
TICKETS

The exhibit runs through New Year’s Eve, Friday, December 31, 2021. (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas)

Holiday open hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4pm.

$10.00 Adults | $9.00 Seniors (60+)
$9.00 College Students (with ID) | $8.00 Children (3-18)
FREE Toddlers (under 3)
FREE MVHS Members | FREE Active Military and Veterans (with ID)

LOCATION

Arms Family Museum
648 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44502
mahoninghistory.org 

SHOPPING
Arms Family Museum - Holiday Shop
Arms Family Museum – Holiday Shop

If you love to shop, in the gift shop across from the museum entrance, where you purchase your museum tickets you will find a nice selection of holiday decorations, including beautiful tree ornaments.  If you are looking for those older vintage ornaments and holiday decorations, those items can be found in the museum in a room just as you enter and exit the holiday exhibit.


SEIZE THE DAY!

Before or after your tour, save time to enjoy one or more of Youngstown’s favorite tourism stops.

Tyler History Center
325 West Federal Street, Youngstown, OH 44503
website
You can visit this museum for free with your Arms Family Museum tour ticket dated the same day.

One block down is the Butler Art Institute of American Art. The museum is always FREE and well worth a stop.  On exhibit are many great pieces of art, including “Lincoln the Railsplitter” by Norman Rockwell and “Inn Flanders Field” by Robert Vonnoh.

Butler Art Institute of American Art 
524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502
butlerart.com

This free public garden is another stop that no matter what time you visit, you will find beauty. Make sure you allow time to shop in the Garden store.

Fellows Riverside Gardens / Davis Education & Visitor Center
123 McKinley Ave., Youngstown, OH 44509
website


GRAB A BITE TO EAT

Below are a few local eateries that we think you will enjoy. Please call ahead for times and reservation requirements.

Casses’s MVR
410 N. Walnut St., Youngstown, OH 44505
youngstownmvr.com
Pizza, pasta, soups, salads, sandwiches, and more is what you will find at this long-standing local favorite. 

Mocha House
120 E Boardman St, Youngstown, OH 44503
mochahouse.com/youngstown
Breakfast, salads, sandwiches, and other American favorites can be found at the Mocha House. 

Doubletree Restaurant – Bistro 1907
44 E. Federal St., Youngstown, OH 44503
bistro1907.com
Locally sourced ingredients served in a historic building. 

Garden Café by Kravitz
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm
Fellows Riverside Gardens / Davis Education & Visitor Center
123 McKinley Ave., Youngstown, OH 44509
website
Take in views of the garden as you enjoy one of Kravitz’s sandwiches, salads, or wraps. A Sunday breakfast is also offered.

Memories of Christmas Past

YoungstownLive | Paid partnership

I would like to again thank the Arms Family Museum and the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau for affording me the opportunity to share my experience with my followers.

 

If you would like additional information about the museum and/or other points of interest, or need help with places to stay in the Youngstown/Mahoning County area visit YoungstownLive.com.

 


Article and photos, unless noted by: D. Rock, MyOhioFun.com

Diane Rock is the owner and editor of MyOhioFun.com, NorthernOhioTourism.com and the Tea Cup Rescue Society. She is an avid baker, gardener, Little Free Library owner, who loves to read and travel.  She spends most of her days sharing her love of things to do in Ohio, as well as creating destinations and itineraries for group tours and individual travelers.

***Disclosure:  My Ohio Fun receives compensation from advertising banners.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

 



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