Sunday, January 29, 2017


The 2010 Ohio City Home Tour contributed a two-for-the-price-of-one folly deal.  Both were related to buildings on the tour that were not homes, but businesses, instead.

One, a three-floor building on the primary business thoroughfare, had included in its tour description a reference to the "...third-floor ballroom of the Odd Fellows Society in the late 1870s".  First of all, the Ohio City chapters of the Odd Fellows [the International Order of Odd Fellows was its actual name, by the way] were actually occupying a brand-new (1873) structure, built specifically for them, in a different part of Ohio City.  Second of all -- and this is clearly more significant -- this structure wasn't even built until 1884 (for a man named Leonard Maurer, to the designs of local architect Andrew Mitermiler, for those who may wish to know such 'minutiae').

The other structure was built for an organization known for its devotion to providing physical exercise for its membership.  Located on what had long been the premier residential avenue of Ohio City, which had finally faded and was then beginning to see institutional use usurp the residential, the tour description alleged that the structure was "...built in 1901...".  It would seem that someone had merely looked for the institution at this location in the historic city directories.  They did, indeed, first appear at this location in 1901, but, it was inside of one of the old grand dwellings.  After constructing a gymnasium addition at the rear of the dwelling, it wasn't until ten years later, in 1911, that the structure on the tour was built, replacing both the dwelling and the gymnasium addition.

In a later Ohio City home tour [we've misplaced what year it was], included was another business, inside of a commercial building, on another primary thoroughfare that historically had been overtaken by commercial development.  Within the tour description, there was a reference to the "...earlier portion of the building from the 1850s...".  It is very much true that there is an earlier portion of the building, but it certainly is not from as far back as the 1850s.  It was actually built in 1869, and there was even at least one newspaper account in that year about this very event.  Its owner, Henry Heil, was considered a significant citizen.  The design was provided by local architect Henry E. Myer. 
                                                                                                                                                     -- C. B.

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