Remarkable Ohio

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1004 Chapel Street
Cincinnati

, OH

Walnut Hills has been home to a significant middle- and working-class Black community since the 1850s. In 1931, African American entrepreneur Horace Sudduth bought 1004 Chapel Street and then the row of buildings across Monfort, naming them the Manse Hotel and Annex. Throughout the 1940s, hotel dinner parties could move to the Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs house next door for dancing. A large addition to the Manse in 1950 created its own ballroom, 24-hour coffee shop, upgraded Sweetbriar Restaurant, and more guest rooms. It appeared in the Negro Motorist’s Green Book between 1940-1963, providing local, transient, and residential guests both catered meetings and top entertainment during the last decades of segregation. It closed in the late 1960s when the economic need for a first-class segregated hotel disappeared in the age of Black Power.

27 S. Main Street
West Salem

, OH

The West Salem City Hall reflects a late-1800s municipal trend to house many civic functions under one roof. The fire station, jail, and council chambers occupied the ground level, while the second floor hosted a public auditorium, or “opera house.” Designed by native son William K. Shilling, later an internationally prominent architect, the Romanesque-style building was completed in 1899 at a cost of $9,077 and soon became the center of civic life in West Salem. Band concerts, vaudeville shows, town meetings, and graduation ceremonies were conducted in the opera house during its heyday before World War II. During the Cold War it was designated as a Civil Defense emergency field hospital. It remains a focal point of the West Salem community.

391 Mahoning Avenue
Warren

, OH

This ornate Victorian/Italianate house was constructed in 1871 as the home of Henry Bishop Perkins, Sr., a civic, business, and political leader of the Western Reserve. During the 19th and early 20th century political figures such as U.S. Grant, James A. Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley were visitors to this house.

110 E. Court Street
Washington Court House

, OH

Opened on May 1, 1885, this is the third Fayette County Court House building. Ohio artist Archibald Willard, who is best known for the patriotic painting, “The Spirit of ’76,” was commissioned by the firm Cooks Brothers to do painting and fresco work for the interior walls of the courthouse. Willard did not sign his work and the artist’s identity remained a mystery for nearly 75 years until confirmation was made in August 1956. The artist’s name was cleverly disguised in the delivery address of the letter in “The Spirit of the U.S. Mail” mural. The other primary murals, “Spirit of Electricity” and “Spirit of the Telegraph,” adorn the third floor corridor.

222 W. Main St.
West Union

, OH

The Bradford Tavern, West Union’s first inn built ca. 1804, served the Maysville-Zanesville stagecoach route and such travelers as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Santa Anna. After 1840, it was continued as the Marlatt House and, later, the Crawford House. Robert Lawler operated it as the Commercial Hotel, 1904-1919. In 1936, Mr. and Mrs. William Lafferty restored the building as the “Olde Wayside Inn.”

235 N. Scioto Street
Circleville

, OH

On this site stood the Zieger House, in which the first session of court in Circleville was held on April 26, 1811, the sessions continuing until April, 1814. The first meetings of Pickaway Lodge No. 23 Free and Accepted Masons were held here, beginning April 26, 1813, and continuing until 1825.

5 S. Mechanic Street (OH 60)
Hayesville

, OH

This building was a center of community life from the time of its construction in 1886 to the late 1930s. Once common, such combinations of governmental offices and commercial and entertainment space are today rare. The second floor opera house retains many original features, including stage backdrops, dressing rooms, and seats. Vaudeville, theater companies, and entertainment of all kinds were hosted here and many performers signed the backstage walls: Buffalo Bill dated his signature October 28, 1888. Along with village offices, first floor tenants have included the Vermillion Township Trustees, the Eddie Stover Hat Shop, and the F.L. Smith Watch Repair and Jewelry Store. Hayesville’s citizens approved the hall’s construction on April 18, 1884 by a vote of 100 to 13. Contractor Samuel Craig completed the building two years later at a cost of $4,852.20. Located on the Lincoln Highway, this building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

219 E. Grant Avenue
Georgetown

, OH

U.S. Grant, general-in-chief of the Armies of the United States, 18th president and first native Ohioan to be elected chief executive, lived in this house from 1824 to 1839. Jesse R. Grant, his father, built the original part fronting Water Street in 1824 and later built an addition fronting Main Cross Street, now Grant Avenue. “This place remained my home, until at the age of seventeen, in 1839, I went to West Point.” Memoirs of U.S. Grant