The village of Mt. Sterling may have suffered more than its share of hard times, but the cafe on the corner keeps spirits high,
Inventory Of Historic Structures Underway In Columbus Area
Last November, bulldozers leveled a nearly 200-year-old cottage in Upper Arlington. The Hutchinson House was demolished to make room for luxury apartments. The incident sparked a move to identify other central Ohio historic structures before theyâ€™re torn down.
The leveling of the Hutchinson House was devastating, says the former director of the Upper Arlington Historical Society, Kate Kallmes.
â€œYou would not believe how many people Iâ€™ve seen around town who have said to me, â€˜Oh weâ€™re so sorry that you couldnâ€™t save the house.â€™ And of course Iâ€™m still devastated by it,â€ Kallmes says.
Soon after the demolition Kallmes began to inventory other little-known structures with historic value.
â€œOne thing weâ€™re doing is looking for pre-Civil War buildings in and around Upper Arlington. And then weâ€™re also partnering with other community organizations so that if theyâ€™re aware of something that hasnâ€™t crossed our radar theyâ€™ll let us know. And I think people are more aware now,â€ Kallmes says.
The historical society wants to keep other valuable buildings from being razed. Historian Ed Lentz says the destruction of certain historic structures is a significant loss.
â€œWe are not only who we have been and how we have acted. We are also a reflection of what we have made and constructed over the years. And what we build is a reflection of us. Itâ€™s hard to get a sense of who we are and who we might be if you donâ€™t have a sense of where youâ€™ve been. And thatâ€™s why saving the best of the past is important,â€â€™ Lentz says.
The Hutchinson House was built in 1821. Two years later, a larger, more substantial home was built not far from what today is Greenlawn Cemetery.
â€œWeâ€™re standing in front of the Miner House on Eaton Street. I think this house is interesting because itâ€™s the longest inhabited house in Central Ohio â€¦ built in 1823.â€
Lucy Wolfe is a realtor and photographer. Her photographs appear in the book â€œA Historical Guide to Old Columbusâ€ published in 2012. As she worked on the bookâ€™s illustrations, Wolfe developed an expertise for the cityâ€™s historic structures.
Wolfe knows stories of other lesser-known houses. One is the Carolyn Brown House on Livingston Avenue at Linwood in Columbusâ€™ Old Oaks neighborhood.
â€œShe was an indentured servant who was given money when her owner died to build a house in Columbus. It was built in about 1850 and was part of the Underground Railroad.â€
The childhood home of World War One flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, at 1334 Livingston Avenue, is a national historic landmark. But, says Wolfe, the birthplace of one of Americaâ€™s greatest golfers is less well known.
â€œ765 Kimball Place; thatâ€™s where Louis and Helen Nicklaus were living in that house when their son, future golfing great Jack Nicklaus was born,â€ Wolfe says.
There are lots of historic structures in metropolitan Columbus. Ed Lentz, the executive director of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, says itâ€™s impossible to save every relic of the past. But his organization does keep an eye out for historically significant buildings that might be lost.
â€œPart of the task of people who are involved in preservation, history and so on, is to try to insure that the best of the past is not lost,â€ Lentz says.