There's something mysterious and magical about the historic homes that line the streets of downtown Erie.
"It just reminds us of a different era, almost a fairy tale," said Caleb Pifer, Executive Director of the Erie County Historical Society.
At this time of year, you have an excuse to go inside and explore for yourself.
"Market at the Mansion" invites you to start your holiday shopping inside two antique homes: the Watson Curtze mansion, and the mansion that houses the Women's Club of Erie.
"Unless someone's a member of the club it's rarely open to the public," said Pifer, "so people that have never seen it, they're in for a real treat. Its really spectacular."
Diane Schneider will be at the market selling shoes, hats, jewelry and dresses, from the 1800s to the 1950s.
"Even though these articles are older, the quality is still there, particularly in the jewelry," Schneider said. "Some of them are timeless pieces that will never go out of style."
The same can be said for the mansions that will house the sale.
Schneider's love of timeless treasures doesn't stop with clothing and accessories.
"It's close to my heart being that myself and my husband live in an older home, a historic home built in...1886."
The recent demolition of an Erie mansion on 6th Street has made for an active push to preserve these treasured homes. Events like Market at the Mansion are just one way the Erie County Historical Society says these properties help the local economy.
"Everyone has to be local, if someone's a vendor from California or Texas they don't get in," said Pifer. "Its an opportunity for people to not only shop locally, give back to a local organization, but support local people."
Pifer hopes people who walk through the doors are as enamored by the mansion as he was as a young boy, and that it sparks a public interest in saving historic homes like this one.
"I remember coming here in elementary school like so many people, touring around and being fascinated with the history," said Pifer.
"I think when people really start to hear some of the economic benefits, the tangible benefits... that we can better protect and preserve places like the Watson- Curtze Mansion."
You can shop at "Market at the Mansion" this Saturday and Sunday, from noon until 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 9 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-03-09 21:33:04 GMT
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