Jefferson, Ohio: Victorian Baby Carriage Museum

Gaze upon hundreds of lovingly preserved, ornate, perambulators and baby buggies. See the carriages of British baby royalty and Lucille Ball's grandmother.
Address:
26 E. Cedar St., Jefferson, OH
Directions:
South end of town, east off S. Chestnut St./Hwy 307.
Hours:
Jun-Aug W, Sa 11-5; fewer hours and days off-season. (Call to verify)
Phone:
440-576-9588
Admission:
$5.
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Victorian Baby Carriage Museum

To be honest, we didn't have a lot of hope for this place, even after reading about it on Roadside America. But the weather had been dreary, and we were desperate for entertainment. It turned out to be fun and educational. John Pallo runs the museum for his wife Janet and her twin sister Judy, who have been collecting carriages and related artifacts since 1988.

Included are "perambulators" (British for "baby carriage"), which John told us is an open carrier on wheels with a parasol attached, not to be confused with a "baby buggy," which just has a roll-top cover.

The items here are mostly wicker, shaped into amazing forms, and designed to carry infants in the pre-product-safety-conscious 19th century. Distinctive carriages included an example of the Oriole "Go-Basket" designed for the "modern mother" of 1906, who needed to be able to steer her child-carrying vehicle with one hand while she held up her "Votes for Women" poster with the other. The oldest carriage, circa 1850, included wicker columns that supported the cover, and resembled the front porch of Xanadu, Charles Foster Kane's home in Citizen Kane. Intimidating, even for a baby.

There are carriages belonging to famous people (such as Lucille Ball's grandmother); a reconstructed Silver Cross carriage that ferried Prince Charles about as a tyke; a coach used by Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret to ride about the palace grounds; and the carriage and horse used in filming Gone with the Wind.

One of the weirdest exhibits is dedicated to the Dionne Quintuplets, whose bizarre, isolated life was mostly managed by the Canadian government in the 1930s. Unfortunately, John Pallo wouldn't allow us to photograph any of the items in the museum, so you'll have to use your imagination in order to whet your appetite for driving to Jefferson.

[Louise Foresman, 12/02/2017]
Victorian Perambulator Museum

Our Victorian Perambulator Museum was founded in 1988 when we decided to "go public." Response was immediately overwhelming. Starting from a private collection of 50 carriages, we have now grown the collection to over 200 Victorian carriages. We have had visitors from around the world come to our museum. It is a one of a kind museum that must be seen to be appreciated.

Some of the many words that our visitors have used to describe their experience are; "Awesome," "Fabulous," "Beautiful," "Overwhelming."

[Mike Hollingsworth, 08/09/2011]

Whenever we say "Victorian perambulator" and "dream destination" in the same sentence, there can only be one place we are talking about! (Confession: we haven't visited yet; our enthusiasm is based entirely on a 10-year old brochure).

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In the region:
Flintstone House, Painesville, OH - 22 mi.

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