Custodian of Five Oaks, an Historic Massillon Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places
The third floor Ballroom, measuring 40' by 45', is a wonderful place for music, dancing and educational programs. The minstrel balcony was used during the 1895 reception by the Massillon orchestra. A card room in the turret might have been used by the gentlemen. For a bird's eye view of the city, there are two outdoor balconies, one to the front of the house and one to the North side. There are two additional rooms for conversation and refreshments. Along the back hall are two rooms and a bathroom with access to the back stairs that could have been used by live-in servants.
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From the second floor balcony, you can enter four bedrooms. All the bedrooms are connected by either a closet or bathroom. If there was an intruder in the house, the doors could be locked and the family could gather in a specific room. As well as the bedrooms on this floor, there is a sewing room, linen closet, and five bathrooms. The bathrooms still contain some of the original fixtures. In the back hall, a dumb-waiter has a stop on its way from the kitchen to the Ballroom. An elevator also runs from the basement to the third floor. This was used mainly for transporting trunks and furniture, not people.
The main stairs and balcony are a construction masterpiece. There is no visivle support for the balcony. The joists that hold up the floor are anchored in the forward part of the house. There is a lion on each of the five newel posts, following the theme from the exterior of the building. Each lion becomes more fierce as you proceed up the stairs. Carved cherub faces, each unique, appear on the ends of the balcony beams.
A large Tiffany window in three panels lights the stairway to the second floor. The design shows an angel-like figure with the word "Salve" meaning "Welcome". The paneling beneath the stairway conceals two secret drawers for storing valuables while the family was away.
One of the most unique rooms is the Billiard Room, entered from the first floor landing or from the back hall. The walls are covered with Moroccan leather and designs made by hammered brass nails. The wood is unfinished black walnut. The domed ceiling, made of frames of Tiffany glass, contains panels that open by a series of pulleys to a shaft reaching to a skylight in the main roof. The second and third floor windows overlook this shaft which is painted white. On a sunny day, the light spills into all three floors from this single shaft. This room, hung with a profusion of flowers, was the setting for Edna McClymonds wedding party.
The Dining Room, opening to the east of the Main Hall, has a massive built-in sideboard of San Domingo mahogany. The walls are silver leaf with green stenciling. The ten-foot fireplace is of Numidian marble, The original mahogany extension table and twelve leather-covered chairs seats twenty-four and was custom made for the family.
The South Parlor, Library and Music Room are also entered from the Great hall. Each contains a unique fireplace, a chandelier, window seats and double sliding doors.
The interior of Five Oaks is captivating. There is something special to discover with each visit. There are three entrances to the Great Hall. The front double-entry doors are constructed of heavy oak with large strap-iron hinges. The main and side entrances open into vestibules. The porte-cochere entrance is on the North side of the house and it allowed easy access for carriages.
The Great Hall has painted rich green wall with fleur-de-lis stenciled in gold leaf. Round and octagonal pillars on either side of the hall are carved with fleur-de-lis. Hanging between the pillars are bronze lamps, copies of ancient Pompeian lamps. The ceiling beams are quarter-sawn white oak arranged in squares with mottled mosaic-painted centers. The walls of the Great Hall are painted red with shields in gold leaf decorated with acorns and oak leaves. The fireplace in the hall, one of ten, is carved of limestone with female figures on either side. Carved in the stone is the Biblical inscription "Fire and Heat, Bless Ye the Lord".