Promont House celebrates Christmas

December 20th, 2009    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: News

Clermont County Office of Communications has produced a holiday television show and Kathy Lehr and her staff have focused on the Promont House Museum in Milford.

In the production, Lehr, the director of the Clermont County Office of Communications, successfully answered the question of “What were the holidays like during the Victorian Era?” 

“You don’t have to wonder what the holidays were like, just pay a visit to the beautiful Promont House Museum in Milford,” said Lehr.

During the Christmas holiday season, Promont is adorned with wreaths, sparkling lights, Victorian trees, and scenes from the play "The Nutcracker."

"It takes our volunteers three to four weeks to transform the house into a holiday wonderland," said Nancy Storch, a member of the Milford Historical Society and a volunteer at Promont.

"We have an amazing display of nutcrackers, including some crafted by local children. On the top floor, the servant's quarters, Milford High School student Clay Shaw helped us put together the scene where the Nutcracker battles the Mouse Kings. This year we also have a wonderful display of Spode china and a collection of Toby mugs," she said.

The museum and headquarters of the Greater Milford Area Historical Society, is located at 906 Main Street. The property was dedicated Sept. 14, 1985, after being willed to the GMAHS by James Kirgan of Amelia, the last private owner of the house.

Richard Crawford, Clermont County Historian, pointed out the mansion was built from 1865-67 by the William McGrue family. The bricks for the construction of the three-story house and five-story tower were fired and made from soil on the property. It stands on 56 acres of land that was originally a portion of a 1,000-acre grant of land to Rev. Francis McCormick for his service during the American Revolution. McCormick was the first settler in Milford, he began the first Methodist church in the Northwest Territory that includes all of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and most of Minnesota.

Crawford said, "When this mansion was built it was considered a beautiful and spacious marvel and the most beautiful home in Clermont County. It featured a running water system that began at the roof with a cistern and gravity permitted the water to flow down through the house. It also had gas lighting, central heat from a coal furnace, and each room had a call bell for servants or othder notice or assistance.

"In the early days here at Promont, instead of electric lights, there were candles on the tree," said Crawford. "Children were occasionally seen, but rarely heard in the front parlor where the tree stood.This was the main showroom of the house. Instead of video games, the children enjoyed playing with soldiers, spinning tops, stuffed dolls and yoyos."

Promont has been restored to how it would have looked when John M. Pattison lived here. A native of Owensville, he lived in Promont 1879-1906 and died in the house while he was the 43rd governor of Ohio, the only native-born Clermont countian elected to the state's highest political office. He served the shortest term as the governor of Ohio in the state's history, about six months. He died in the house in his bedroom on the second floor on June 18, 1906, five days after his 59th birthday.

"Promont is definitely one of our county's many historical treasures. I'm in awe of the place and its displays," said Lehr.

Promont, which means "high on a hill," is open to the general public 1:30 - 4:40 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and group tours are given by appointment.

To see the segment visit www.youtube.com/use/clermontcounty. For more information about Promont House call (513) 248-0324.
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