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Piece of Twinsburg history preserved at Hale Farm

By APRIL HELMS Reporter Published: May 10, 2017 12:00 AM
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BATH -- Those interested in Twinsburg history can find a piece of it at Hale Farm and Village in Bath.

The Herrick House, owned by early Twinsburg settler and successful agrarian Johnathan Herrick, was constructed in 1845, said Jason Klein, the director at Hale Farm.

The Greek Revival-style home was originally on Darrow Road, near the corner of Old Mill Road, in Twinsburg, according to information provided by Lea Bissell, a longtime Twinsburg resident and local historian. Herrick was president of the association that helped install the Civil War monument on Twinsburg Township Square.

The two-story structure features four bedrooms and a sewing room on the second floor, a kitchen, parlor, sitting room, bedroom and a second summer kitchen.

"Through excavation, after the structure was moved [to Hale Farm], the remains of a wood foundation were found that is believed to be the summer kitchen," Klein said.

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The home is made of sandstone blocks quarried in Berea, Klein said. In 1987, the Western Reserve Historical Society dismantled the house, block by block, and carted all 970 stones from Twinsburg to Hale Farm and Village.

"It was over 140 tons of sandstone material," Klein said.

Although no architect or master builder has been identified, the Herrick House is similar in design to those found in builders of the time such as Asher Benjamin and Minard Lafever, Klein said.

"The construction has been determined to be of a highly skilled craftsman," he said. "There are more than 7,500 structures in the Ohio Historic Inventory and less than half of one percent are sandstone ashlar-type structures."

The Herrick House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, but its fate became uncertain in 1981, when there was talk of tearing it down to make way for an industrial park, Klein said.

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Bissell said she recalled the dismantling 30 years ago by the Western Reserve Historical Society.

"They put numbers on every stone," Bissell said. "I remember I went to go take pictures of it before it was dismantled, and I wanted to try to get a picture of one of the stones with a number on it."

Construction began in Bath shortly after the move, and 10 years later, on July 5, 1997, the Herrick House opened to the public at Hale Farm and Village, Klein said.

It now rests on the west end of the village, where it is "occupied" by the fictional Meredith family, a family of farmers who are among the characters who give third-person accounts of Hale Farm's structures.

Hale Farm and Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Road in Bath. For details, call 330-666-3711 or visit www.wrhs.org online.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

Twitter: @twinsburgohio

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