Two free public Open Houses at the Tarbell House will be held on Saturdays, June 17 and August 17 this year at 324 East Main Street, Titusville, PA. This was the family home for Franklin Tarbell, his wife Esther, and their three children, including Ida Minerva Tarbell, the eldest child. Ida Tarbell became one of America’s foremost investigative journalists and was a historian focusing on Standard Oil Company, Abraham Lincoln, several French leaders from the 19th century, and other topics until her death in 1944.
In addition to visiting this historic property, guests will be able to enjoy the special display of a privately-held collection of more than 35 teapots ranging from the 17th century to the present, courtesy of Mrs. Lois McElwee of Oil City. The teapots and descriptive labels are shown in the parlor, dining room, and side room on the first floor of the Tarbell House.
The Saturday, June 17 Open House is timed to coincide with the arrival of bicyclists to Titusville participating in the inaugural Oil Region Cycling Classic throughout the region on Father’s Day weekend. The Tarbell House welcomes not only these bicyclists, but others to step inside this three-story Italianate home which was constructed in 1870; doors will be open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.; light refreshments will be available.
The Saturday, August 12 Open House is held during Titusville’s Oil Festival, immediately after the Oil Festival parade goes along Main Street in front of the Tarbell House. Doors will be open from noon until 4 p.m.; light refreshments will be provided, along with live musical entertainment.
Today, the Tarbell House is owned by the nonprofit Oil Region Alliance, which has completed the multiple-phase rehabilitation to restore it to the appearance and configuration in the period of 1870 to 1918 when the Tarbell family was in residence. Last year’s construction of a replica cupola was the culminating task, replacing one lost in a fire almost a century ago.
The Tarbell House is currently operated as a house museum open by appointment, and is the venue for public teas and other private gatherings in its Victorian setting. While typically reservations are needed for all events there, everyone is welcome to attend either of the Open House dates without making advance arrangements. For more information about this event or the Tarbell House, please contact ORA’s Vice President for Heritage Development, Mrs. Marilyn Black, at 677-3152, Ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org.