Side A: Frederick Rice was born on September 29, 1753, near Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania and moved to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania around 1766. During the American Revolution he served under George Washington at Valley Forge and fought in the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776, in which American forces surprised and captured 1,000 Hessian mercenaries. He served for two more years as a spy working against Native American tribes in western Pennsylvania. After his service he married Catherine Lauffer, and they raised eleven children to adulthood. Rice chose this 320-acre site, transferred to him in a deed signed by President James Monroe on May 21, 1821, because it offered excellent springs. He assigned the west half to son Simon and the east half to son Barnhart in 1822. Ownership remained in the Rice family until acquired for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in 1891, renamed the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in 1965.
Side B: The Barnhart Rice house is one of two original farmhouses occupying this 320-acre hilltop farmstead from the early days of the area’s settlement. Started in the spring of 1822, the house was built of hand-cut sandstone ashlar blocks quarried a couple hundred yards northwest of here. With the exception of an early addition added within a few years of the initial construction, the exterior of the house has not undergone any renovations that have had a significant impact on its appearance. The house retains its original fireplaces and woodwork. Originally a springhouse stood near the southwest corner, with the barn to the north and a windmill between the house and barn. The Rice homestead is one of the best preserved examples of German vernacular architecture in Wayne County. The structure traces its origins to the fertile farm lands of southwestern Pennsylvania from which a large percentage of Wayne County’s settlers migrated.
Sponsors: Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center/OSU, Descendants of the Rice Family, and The Ohio Historical Society