Gift Hower House Museum

Gift a 'Historical Experience' with a Hower House Museum Membership
Hower House is a Victorian Mansion complete with holiday tours, a holiday dinner, speakers with historical expertise and year-round events.

By Shananne Lewis

The Hower House Museum at 60 Fir Hill is a hidden Victorian gem bursting with experiences that the history buffs on your gift list will absolutely fall in love with.

The Hower House Museum sits on The University of Akron campus, ready to be explored in many ways. 1871 was the year the Hower House was completed by both Mr. John Henry Hower and Jacob Snyder. 

The 28-room mansion has what is called the “Akron Plan,” which means the basement has the same floor plan as the main floor, a soaring tower, and a mansard roof (slopes on every side of the roof). It is filled with Hower family collections from around the world. 

Experiences you can give to a family member include upcoming Holiday Tours, a Holiday Dinner, and a Hower House Museum membership. 

Holiday Tours ($10 per adult) take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between November 10 and December 30 with closure on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. 

The Holiday Dinner is two days only, December 11 and 12. At $85 a plate, you will receive the gourmet four course dinner of your life along with a self-guided tour. Not to mention that your $85 ticket provides you with a great discount at the cellar house gift store.

An annual membership is $35 for an individual, $50 for a couple, $75 for a family of four, and $10 for a student. 

Gifting a membership allows your giftee to attend many themed experiences/tours at Hower House for either free or discounted prices for one year. Explore your inner Victorian-era soul with one of these gifts. 

Dawn Wiltheiss, the administrative assistant, recalls the 2019 Holiday Dinner as one of her favorite family memories. 

“My 14-year-old daughter expanded her horizons to hang out with adults in an elegant atmosphere,” she said. 

“It was so nice to see someone young making eye contact with people you do not know in a big, beautiful mansion. It is a wonderful family type environment and that is what I want her to experience,” Wiltheiss said. 

Her daughter now volunteers her time at Hower. The director of this 28-room landmark, Linda Bussey, said it perfectly: “The trend to give an experience rather than a tangible item is priceless. Where else are you going to get that?” 

Gifting the Hower House experience will offer your recipients Victorian culture and enlightenment for decorative arts, textile conservation, and architectural history. 

To secure your Victorian experience, call Dawn Wiltheiss at 330-972-6909. You can pay by credit card over the phone or visit the museum in person to pay by cash, check, or card. 

Connect with Hower House Museum on Social media @howerhousemuseum

To see all the events offered, visit

(top) Hower House enjoying its fall glory. (middle) a vintage sign for the museum. (bottom) A victorian Christmas tree decorated with pink hydrangeas. Photos by Shananne Lewis.

To reach content author Shananne Lewis,  email her here.

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