Dickens Victorian Village
By Heather Rader

The Dickens Victorian Village takes visitors back in time to experience Old World England amongst the streets of Historic Downtown Cambridge in the heart of Guernsey County. The historic buildings, dating from the 1800’s, along Wheeling Avenue (historic National Road 40) are the perfect backdrop for the free outdoor public art exhibition. The Dickens Victorian Village is a community affair with more than 200 volunteers that work as greeters, coordinate holiday décor, and work behind the scenes to welcome visitors of all ages to the Victorian holiday village.

The Dickens Welcome Center and Curiosity Shoppe is located in the historic Gomber House (745 Steubenville Avenue). The Gomber House is considered to be the oldest building in Cambridge, dating back to the early 1800’s. Volunteers (dressed in Victorian costume) welcome visitors to tour the historic home, offer maps for the Dickens Victorian Village, and provide a short history of the Victorian-era village (which is celebrating its tenth anniversary). The Dickens Welcome Center also houses the Curiosity Shoppe (unique gift shop with handcrafted items and locally made gifts), the Imagination Station (visitors are welcomed to dress in Victorian-era costumes and have their photo taken- free with you own camera or $3 for the volunteers to capture your photo), and the Victorian Tea Room (serves an English style tea on Saturdays-reservations required). The Dickens Welcome Center is the perfect place to start your Dickens Victorian Village experience!

The Dickens Victorian Village boosts 92 different Victorian-era scenes with 167 lifelike Victorian figures. The Victorian scenes are situated along the antique lampposts, benches, and as window displays in the historic buildings between 6th and 11th Streets along Wheeling Avenue. Each hand-made, life-sized mannequin has a hand-sculptured face which has been hand-painted by local artists. The Victorian scenes depict Dickens-era characters such as Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Father Christmas, Christmas carolers, school children, and everyday life in Old World England.

With several themed weekends and events throughout the holiday season, a visit to the Victorian-era village is fun for the entire family! Family-friendly entertainment like horse-drawn carriage rides, themed scavenger hunts (Saturdays through December 19th), Gingerbread House contest, a visit to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass, a Coal Miner’s Christmas, and many more activities enhance visitor’s Victorian-era experience. While exploring the Victorian figures of Dickens Victorian Village, stroll along the streets and visit the many quaint restaurants and shops in Cambridge’s historic downtown.

The Guernsey County Courthouse was built in 1881 and sits in the middle of Historic Downtown Cambridge. With 55,000 lights, three-twenty foot Christmas trees, and 60 animated displays, the courthouse becomes the nightly star of Cambridge! Nightly from November 2-January 2, thousands of colored lights twinkle to synchronized traditional and contemporary holiday music. This wonderful holiday light display will delight visitors of all ages!

This holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a self-guided tour through the Dickens Victorian Village and create new holiday memories with your family in Historic Downtown Cambridge.

 For more information about the Dickens Victorian Village please visit www.DickensVictorianVillage.com


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