Wilder Museum season opening and estate tour Saturday

The Wilder Museum of Warren County History will come out of its winter hibernation as it holds it season opening on Saturday, May 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. The Wilder Museum is home to 14 exhibit rooms full of artifacts from local history, including the Era Gone By Room, the Irvine-Newbold Room, and much, much more!

To kick off the season, the Wilder Museum will host a special walking tour of the Irvine-Newbold Estate at 1 p.m. Callender Irvine began construction of his sprawling mansion in 1822 overlooking the peaceful Brokenstraw. Kept in the family for generations, the Estate played host to numerous upscale soirees as residents and guests galloped horses around the lush gardens, canoed the creek, and enjoyed tea amid the luxurious furnishings and architecture. Sarah Irvine Newbold brought her five daughters to join her father at the Estate, which then became known as the “Newbold Estate.” Four of the sisters never married and stayed on the grounds until their passing. When Sarah passed away, the daughters mourned for the rest of their lives and let the house slowly deteriorate. The once ornate mansion was eventually abandoned and left to the elements. It was razed in November 1973.

A walking tour of the estate will take guests around the once-elegant grounds as they encounter reenactors portraying real people who once called the historical site home. Learn about the Irvine-Newbold Estate from General Irvine himself, played by Jeff Johnson, who will highlight the Whiskey Rebellion. Mark Davis will depict August Gross, an employee of the Estate for over a half century, as he talks about life behind the scenes of the glamorous acreage. One of the locally famous Newbold sisters will also be portrayed by reenactor Debby Hornburg, as she delves into the extravagant life led by the family. Visitors to the Wilder Museum can also see a scaled replica of the Irvine-Newbold House in the aptly named “Newbold Room.”

Cost for the tour will be $5 and includes admission to the museum. Proper footwear is a must. Guests may enjoy free refreshments courtesy of Golden LivingCenter – Kinzua. All proceeds benefit the Wilder Museum of Warren County History, which will begin its seasonal hours Tuesday, May 27, and will be open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please call the Warren County Historical Society at 723-1795, visit www.warrenhistory.org, or like the Warren County Historical Society on Facebook.