Preservation Month: Celebrating Our Heroes
May 1, 2014
The National Trust for Historic Preservation endeavors to recognize, save, and celebrate historic places all over the U.S.A. Here in Tuscarawas County, we're doing our part to enrich and preserve the places that make our communities special.
On Thursday evening, the Heritage Home Association of Tuscarawas County sponsored a dinner meeting and awards presentation at the Olde Main Street Museum in Newcomerstown, next door to the historic Temperance House Tavern, which was an award recipient.
The 2-story Greek Revival frame structure was built in 1841 for Andrew Creter. Located between the Ohio-Erie Canal and the stagecoach line, it served as the Creter's residence, as well as a tavern and inn. The tavern was located in the cellar of the house. Temperance? Yes, the tavern served no alcohol. With the Creter family occupying the first floor, the second floor and attic served as the inn. The ladies were accomodated with rooms on the 2nd floor, while the men were literally locked in the attic so as to avoid any embarrassing moments and allow privacy for the ladies. The Tavern closed when Mr. Creter passed away in 1863, and the building was later purchased by the local Historical Society and opened as a museum in 1974. Among the many fascinating artifacts on display is Newcomstown native Cy Young's Boston Red Sox jersey.
B.J. McFadden, Newcomerstown Historical Society president, accepted a Historic Marker for display on the front of the building.
The Historic Marker may be awarded for a home or other structure associated with a famous person or one who was integral in the founding or development of the local community. It may also be awarded for a structure such as one that might originally have qualified as a Heritage Home but was repurposed for office use or a building that is something other than a single family residence.
In all, seven awards were presented, as the heroes of three other historic structures in Newcomerstown received Heroes of Preservation awards. In addition, the owners of two historic homes located in Dover, Ohio were awarded Heritage Home plaques -- and one in Zoar received a Historic Marker.
Unlike the plaques awarded for Heritage Homes, 20th Century Homes, and those that earn a Historic Marker, the Heroes of Preservation Awards do not require an application from the recipient. The awards are HHA’s way of saying, “Great job! Thank you so much for your efforts!!”
The 2-story brick home (pictured right) located on Walnut Street in Dover, Ohio, was built in 1867 for Israel Ricksecker and remained in the Ricksekker family for 143 years until purchased by Joseph & Cathy Patashinsky four years ago. When the front porch was added, the sandstone pillars were salvaged from the personal residence of Dover co-founder Christian Deardorff, which was being torn down. This well-preserved Heritage Home was deserving of recognition and has finally received it in the form of a Heritage Home Plaque, which will be proudly displayed on the front of the house.
The 1 1/2-story Greek Revival wood frame home (pictured left) now located on Gibbs Lane in Dover, Ohio, was scheduled for demolition in 1996. It is believed to be the oldest house in Dover. Now a Heritage Home Association director, Jeffrey Miller could not imagine allowing such destruction of local history to proceed and intervened, making an offer to purchase and move the entire house, which was accepted. After being moved from its original location on Factory Street (now called Tuscarawas Avenue), the house was painstakingly and properly restored by Jeff and his daughter Janelle. Both were present to accept a hard-earned Heritage Home Plaque.
The Association awards Heritage Home Plaques for architecturally or historically significant homes and other structures located in Tuscarawas County that were built prior to 1901. The home must have its original architectural lines and facade still intact and generally be in good condition. Upon submission of a completed application, a review process ensues. The property is inspected and scored by members of a committee appointed by the association. If the structure passes muster, and members vote to award a plaque, arrangements are made to present the plaque to the property owner. The 20th Century Plaque carries the same requirements but is awarded for homes constructed in or after 1901 and are at least 100 years old.
In addition to Temperance Tavern, the owners of a historic home in the historic Village of Zoar received a Historic Marker. The 2-story brick home at 214 Main St in Zoar, Ohio, is known as the Treasurer's House, because it was built (in 1877) for the family of Louis Zimmerman, who served as treasurer for the Zoar Society of German separatists. It was Mr. Zimmerman who oversaw the division of property when the communal society eventually disbanded. Long before Diane and Rick Geis purchased the house, they drove past it on State Route 212 many times when taking their children to Atwood Lake for day trips. They loved the look of the house and, as they passed by it, would tell the kids, "There's our house!" And later, when they saw a For Sale sign, they made it so! The Treasurer's House is now the residence of the Geis family and also a charming bed & breakfast that accommodates travelers from all over the world. The garage behind the home now serves as an antique shop.
A "Heroes of Preservation" Award was presented for the Newcomerstown Public Library, which still stands with its well-preserved original exterior. When a new library building was constructed, this beautiful old library building was repurposed for other uses such as local group meetings and receptions. Rachel Sindlinger, who served as a library board member and was president during the renovation of the library annex, was present to accept the award.
Besides the library, two Newcomerstown homeowners were recognized for their role in restoring / renovating their beautiful Victorian style homes.
Pictured right is the home of Heroes Steve & Connie Barker on Cross Street in Newcomerstown.
Below left is the home of Heroes Janet & George Gore, also on Cross Street in Newcomerstown.
To date, 69 Tuscarawas County historic homes and buildings have been awarded Heritage Home Plaques, 20th Century Plaques, or Historic Markers by The Heritage Home Association including the county courthouse in New Philadelphia and Dover’s historic Reeves Victorian Mansion. In addition, 14 property owners and caretakers have been recognized as Heroes of Preservation.
A non-profit (501c3) Ohio corporation founded in 1976, the Heritage Home Association of Tuscarawas County is supported by private membership and dedicated to the preservation and documentation of the architecturally and historically significant homes and buildings of Tuscarawas County. The Association endeavors to cultivate appreciation of this part of our local heritage, to develop awareness of, and encourage interest in, preserving historic structures within the community, and to educate those who are interested in preservation or are actively involved in the restoration of historically significant structures. Visit them on the world wide web at http://tuschha.org.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. For more information on "The New Age of Preservation," visit http://www.PreservationNation.org.
The Newcomerstown Historical Society is a group of local volunteers that cares about their little town located along the Tuscarawas River in Ohio, and it is their stated mission to keep the history of Newcomerstown alive. The village of Newcomerstown is celebrating its bicentennial this year. It began as a settlement of English colonists east of modern-day Coshocton, as reported by Christopher Gist in 1756. According to some accounts, Newcomerstown was named after an incident that occurred between a Lenape chief and his wife Mary Harris. Chief Eagle Feather grew tired of his wife. He abducted a younger squaw as a second wife and tried to have Harris accept her in her wigwam. Harris allegedly killed Chief Eagle Feather and told the warriors of the village that the young squaw ran away. The warriors hunted the young woman down and killed her. The settlement was thenceforth known as "Newcomerstown", after the squaw Newcomerstown is celebrating its bicentennial this year, having incorporated as a village in 1814.
Visit Newcomerstown Historical Society and view upcoming bicentennial events and and museum details on the web at http://www.newcomerstownmuseums.com/default.html.