Window candles light up history

"There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle" – Robert Alden

Placing a burning candle in one's window is a common tradition that dates back to colonial times. Candle light often evokes the warmth of home and family. The fireplace was the center of family life in days gone by, and thus the candle was generally lit from that fire.

The candle was often placed in the window when a member of the family was away. The lit candle was also placed in the window as a sign of good news or as a beacon to weary travelers. Candles also represented friendship and were seen as a sign of welcome to others.

More and more as we pass by homes we see battery operated candles in the windows. The trend is growing in popularity once again and isn’t just for Christmas anymore. Candles are also an important part of the Clague and Lily Weston House Museums. The Westlake Historical Society receives many calls letting us know when the window candles are dim, or to offer compliments of how comforting they are to see. The historical society first placed candles in 2010.

There are 26 windows in the Clague House, and 24 at the Lilly Weston House. Each window needs a battery powered candle due to fire department regulations. Each candle has sensors for dusk to dawn burning time. Two AA batteries go in each candle and last about two months.

The Westlake Historical Society is starting an adopt-a-window program to help defray the cost of candles and batteries. An annual donation of only $10 covers the cost of the candle and replacement of batteries six times a year. This program covers the windows for both museums. Please choose the windows you would like to sponsor and let us know. The sooner you make your choice and let us know, the better your choice of windows will be. Window candles can be adopted by visiting our website, or by contacting us at

We sincerely hope that you will be a part of this endeavor and help to keep our historic houses lighting up the night. For further information, please contact Mila Roberts at 216-961-6374 or 216-848-0680.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.07.2023