As Rob and I have been rehabbing our new (old) house, which we have also been calling the "project", we have also recently hired Lisa Yako of Historical Research Partners to help us with some research of our new (old) house. Her business is researching houses for their histories. She started with her own house in Huron, Ohio as a matter of interest, and from there, she began researching the histories of other houses in both Old Plat (which is the oldest section of Huron, and happens to be where we both live) as well as other houses in northeast Ohio.
We first met Lisa and her husband Brad on a walk one early spring day several years ago. (Ah, the advantages of being a pedometer geek!) We were both walking near the Huron River boat basin; my husband and I were noticing the quantity of dying fish near the melting ice. Brad and Lisa, who are both biologists, said that it wasn't unusual; in fact, that this fish kill happened nearly every year, but that this year it seemed to be worse (it turned out to be much worse, but I digress). Our conversation continued for some time, and as conversations often go (especially when first meeting someone), she mentioned her historical research business.
From time to time, she has written articles for the local paper about the history of the different houses in the area. In fact, because of her research into the home of the Hoover family, she is considered an expert on the Hoover Potato Digger, which is still used today (who knew?), and is often asked to speak on her area of expertise. Therefore, when we started discovering thick planks of walnut siding, walnut post-and-beam construction, and other anomalies while working on the "project", we thought it might be interesting to find out more about our new house.
We specifically asked her to see if she could find out, minimally, the following:
Establish the construction date
Trace the ownership history
Look for evidence that the house was moved (the charts don't show this house at this location)
Learn something about who built the house
As of the other day, she called with the information that the house was once owned by the trustees of the German Evangelical Church (from 1871 to 1904). What it was used for during this time (as the manse, as the meeting place for services, etc.) is still being researched, but we find it interesting especially in light of the fact that Rob is a retired minister. It also proves that the house is much older than the date (of 1897) that we were told it was built. Probably 1897 is the date that the house went on the tax rolls.
We still have quite a bit to do on the house. We have finally gotten the materials delivered to re-do the bathroom, and the bedroom, but I digress.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association