Hamilton's German Village Christmas Walk

After church and lunch today, the lovely Robin and I accompanied Aubrey, Calleigh, and Ryder, and our friends Jessica, Ezra, and Mira to Hamilton's twenty-first annual German Village Christmas Walk.

We started out our stroll with a fresh-made funnel cake in front of the Friends on Third Salon.

Next, we got to tour the 1863 Lane-Hooven house, something I've long wanted to do (see this post for more details on this historic home).

The Victorian Gothic Revival architecture of the house, built by industrialist Clark Lane (who also built the octagonal building across the street that now houses the Lane Library) is gorgeously preserved.

We stopped to listen to the sharp sounds of the Yuletide Brass in front of the historic YWCA building, a 1931 Jacobean Revival structure.

Calleigh and Ezra were a joy to watch. They're such good friends, and they were mostly responsive to our frequent calls to "freeze!" as they ran blissfully ahead of our stroller brigade.

We arrived at the gorgeous 1836 St. Julie Billiart Church on Dayton Street as the afternoon mass (in Spanish) was being conducted, so those of us who hadn't seen the beautiful interior politely peeked in before heading on our way.

It took a little bit of navigating (and searching) to find Santa Claus, but we finally located him in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium annexed to the historic Butler County Historical Museum on North Second Street. Ezra and Ryder visited briefly with old Nick, but Calleigh opted to keep her distance.

We stopped in also to the Benninghofen House, now the home of the Butler County Historical Society. The home, built in 1866, displays Victorian furnishings and records stored by the county.

Calleigh displayed incredible restraint in not picking up the doll in the first floor drawing room of the Italianate building.

We also toured half of the first floor of the Long-Allstatter house, built in 1860 by business partners who were producers of farm machinery. The Long family lived in the north side of the double mansion and the Allstatter family in the south side. The home was opened to the public by the current owners, Barb and Joe Musch.

The highlight of the Christmas Walk, according to Calleigh, was the free horse-and-carriage ride around the block.

There was much we didn't get to do. We didn't stand in line for the balloon animals or the face painting, we didn't locate the reindeer, and we missed the marionette show, among other things. But next year we will know better what to expect, and will plan our time more carefully. But it was still a marvelous time, enjoyed by all.

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