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Historic home features toys, antiques

Story & photos by Stephanie Fellenstein Published: June 12, 2017 6:24 PM
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20 N. Oviatt Street

Pat Schron, and her husband Courtney, saw the potential in the house at 20 N. Oviatt Street before anyone else.

"I remember my sister saying, 'what are you doing,'" Schron says when they were buying the house. That was back in 1980 when the house was white and the nearby garage was falling down.

Now the beautiful Victorian home will welcome visitors on the 70th Annual Home and Garden Tour.

Built in 1883 by Sheldon C. Osborne, the house was the first one on the block. The Osborne family was known for building cheese boxes, but Sheldon chose to work for the railroad and spent part of his career as a conductor.

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Visitors will enter through the front door and visit the dining room, living room, library, family room, kitchen and porch on the first floor.

The dining room includes a reproduction David Smith tiger maple harvest table and Windsor chairs. One piece to note is a memory box, created by a dear friend, that hangs on the dining room wall. It depicts Schron's life from childhood. She points out the Dunkin Donuts cup and miniature Cavalier King Charles dog like her own dog.

A special memento in the living room is a year-round Santa that was created out of quilt from her husband's grandmother. It stands next to a Christmas card picturing Courtney as a child. Also in the display is a miniature Christmas cabin created by local artist Dede Klein that Schron won in the Grey Colt Charity Stocking event.

Moving on from the living room, the library is filled with vintage and antique toys. Schron has a collection of Steiff animals and dolls from her youth displayed on the built-in bookshelves. She points out her Tiny Tears dolls from the 1950s that cried real tears and the Shirley Temple doll she received for her 13th birthday. Also in the room is a dollhouse built for the Schrons' daughter when she turned seven.

Antiques can be found throughout the house like the bench made out of an antique crib in the kitchen hallway. The kitchen features soap stone counters and an antique gumball machine.

The house has remained mostly in its original state except for two upstairs bedrooms and a screened in porch that were added over the years. The garage was rebuilt and a new carriage house was added in 1994. Courtney passed away before the carriage house was finished, but an angel weather vane, a Christmas gift to him from his family, adorns the top of the cupola.

The gardens surrounding the house are also on the tour. The horseshoe garden in front of the carriage house includes hydrangeas, cone flowers, butterfly bush, tick seed, viburnum, Annabelle and Shasta daisy.

Other plants found in the meticulous gardens include sweet woodruff, bee balm, red twig dogwood and hostas.

Schron thoroughly enjoys visiting antique shops to find the perfect pieces for the house. During the tour, visitors can page through a photo album filled with pictures of the house from those early days, and each improvement since.

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