Remarkable Ohio

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33740 Lake Rd
Avon Lake

, OH

The Peter J. Miller House was constructed around 1830 and is one of the last remaining pre-Civil War lakefront houses in Lorain County. The architecture is Greek Revival. Peter Miller married Ruth Houseworth in 1828. They had five children. In 1851 Peter Miller died and it’s believed that his family continued to reside on the property until 1925. The City of Avon Lake purchased the property in 1962. The house was opened for tours, and restoration proceeded, as funds were available. In 1975 the water heating system burst and caused extensive damage. In 1985 a new committee took over and was successful in restoring the house. Volunteer trustees have overseen the operation of the house as a museum since September 1989.

Lincoln Road
Camp Dennison

, OH

Waldschmidt Cemetery is located on land purchased from former New Jersey judge and Congressman John Cleves Symmes in 1795 by Christian Waldschmidt, one of the first settlers in the Little Miami River Valley. Waldschmidt, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was a veteran of the American Revolution, and he and his family are buried here. During the Civil War this area, named for Governor William Dennison, served as a training site and hospital for the Union effort. A portion of the cemetery was the temporary interment site for 349 Union soldiers and 31 Confederate prisoners of war, most of whom died at the camp hospital. On July 4, 1869, the Union soldiers were moved to Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. About the same time, the Confederate soldiers were reinterred in Chase Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

SE corner of McFarland Road & Zimmerlin Road
Rossville

, OH

In 1833, John Randolph from Roanoke, Virginia, died leaving three wills that requested that all of his slaves be set free and that land be purchased for them. Although contested for thirteen years by his family, the slaves were freed and the executor of the wills, Randolph’s cousin Judge William Leigh purchased about 2,000 acres of farm land in Mercer County, Ohio. Traveling by wagon train, the freed slaves, 383 in all, reached their destination in 1846, but were forced to turn back by earlier established white settlers. They turned around and ended up north of Piqua where they purchased land and developed the Village of Rossville. Later some moved on to other places in Miami County and well as Shelby County. In Rossville, they established an African Baptist Church in 1869, cemetery in 1866, and public black school in 1872.

114 W Water Street
Urbana

, OH

Clyde Shyrigh, better known as Billy Clifford, was born in this house on January 24, 1869, to Levi and Sarah Shyrigh. Coming from a musical family, he developed an early interest in music and practiced with the family in the barn behind the house. At the age of ten, Clifford joined the circus when it was in town and played the snare drum, sold tickets, and eventually performed a song and dance routine. A leading vaudevillian of his time, Clifford once performed with Buster Keaton and went on to act with the best troupes in New York City, Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, and Europe. Eventually, he created his own company of performers, including an all-girl orchestra. Clifford died in this house on November 20, 1930, and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Urbana.

9845 Hardin Rd
Piqua

, OH

With the intention of becoming a “gentleman farmer,” John Johnston began development of his Upper Piqua farm in 1808 with a two-story log cabin and this double pen log barn. The surrounding outer sheds were built to protect the log pens from the weather. One of the oldest structures of its kind in Ohio, the barn is built around two hand-hewn log pens, each sixty-foot square. The barn served the family’s farming activities and was a storage facility for trade goods Johnston needed when the farm was the Piqua Indian Agency, 1811-1829.

4432 OH 305
Southington

, OH

Southington native Newton Chalker built, furnished, and donated Chalker High School to his community in 1907. Chalker was born in 1842 in Southington Township and lived there until adulthood. He later built a prosperous law and real estate practice in Akron. Chalker’s dedication to improve educational opportunities in the township likely originated with his personal struggle to complete high school, which was repeatedly interrupted by financial concerns and family obligations. The Chalker High School building was designed in the Neo-Classical Revival architectural style which was favored for public buildings, churches and schools early in the twentieth century. The building exhibits Classical influences through the use of fluted columns that support a pedimented gable, resembling a Greek temple. Chalker High School and the Civil War Monument were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. (Continued on other side)

224 Division Street
Kelleys Island

, OH

The German Reformed Church was organized on Kelleys Island in 1865. The congregation built this church from island stone in 1866 on 1/2 acre of land purchased from Alfred S. and Hannah Kelley. By 1871, the congregation, one of five on the island, heard services in German and had 25 families as members, including those of Baumler, Beatty, Becker, Boker, Burger, Cattenach, Dodge, Elfers, Fischer, Gerlach, Hess, Huber, Jordon, Keifer, Lange, Nowalk, Pringnitz, Renter, Schaedler, Scheele, Smith, Stoll, Suhr, and Trieschman. Rev. A. William Von Kaske was the congregation’s last resident minister, leaving in 1915. The church’s final service, a funeral for William Burger, was held in 1942. The church’s Ladies Aid Society was able to maintain the building until 1957, after which it was left vacant. The Kelleys Island Historical Association leased the church in 1981 and was granted the deed in 1986.

Linden Avenue
Wyoming

, OH

The Stearns and Foster Company was co-founded by George S. Stearns, one of the founding fathers of the City of Wyoming, and Seth Foster. Family-owned for 139 years, the company saw the nation through three wars and the Great Depression. A few of its contributions to public service include-donating mattresses and drinking water to area residents during the great flood of 1937 and devoting nearly 80% of its resources to the war effort during World War II. In 1911, the company was one of the first to volunteer under what is now known as the Workman’s Compensation Act and offered life insurance to employees free of cost in 1914. The Stearns family contributed greatly to the City of Wyoming, serving on boards and commissions and helping make possible its first church, library, and high school.