Victorian Valentine workshop at The Castle

People of all ages gathered on Saturday to learn the art of making Victorian-era sentiments of love and adoration during the Victorian Valentine workshop at The Castle.

“We decided to use this workshop as a way to have a fun girls’ day out,” said Helen Worstell, of Devola, who attended the event with her friends Karen Erb and Pam Siders, both of Marietta.

“Coming here for the Valentines event is a welcome blessing just to get out of the house after the weather we’ve had,” Siders said. “I’ve been in Marietta for 15 years and this is my first time at The Castle and it’s beautiful.”

Erb said she attends so many events at the mansion museum at 418 Fourth St. in Marietta that she will be training as a docent – volunteer and tour guide – for the facility this spring.

“I just love being here and can’t wait to be a part of what they do,” Erb added.

Pam Rubin, of Parkersburg, brought her 6-year-old daughter, Hannah, to the crafting program after the little girl insisted.

“We have been going to the (Parkersburg) Art Center for their Arty Party and when we read about this program, she told us we had to come, so we have,” Rubin said. “It’s my first time here and I’m sure it will not be our last; Hannah loved it.”

Leah Magyary, education director at The Castle, said this year’s event was very popular with both the morning and afternoon workshops being filled.

“In the morning we had a private party of ladies who came and made Valentines,” she said. “The afternoon group had a lot of kids, which is really great.”

While the workshop provided decorations and all other items needed to make several old-fashioned Valentines, there was also a history lesson, said Scott Britton, executive director of The Castle.

“We began each session with a little history of Valentine’s Day and showed off some of our collection of antique cards,” Britton said, adding some of those Valentines date from the early 19th Century and were made by people in Marietta.

The official day to announce love was brought to the forefront of culture by England’s Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert between 1840 and 1861.

“Our workshop is a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and learn some history at the same time,” Magyary said. “Today we just run into a store and buy a card, but 150 years ago, people sat down and took the time to show someone how they felt by making a card, which is much more intimate.”