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Searching for Clues

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2022 9:04 am
by RuralFarmhouse
Hi Everyone! I'm a new member but I've been using existing discussions on this forum for a couple years now trying to learn more about my old house from the wealth of knowledge on these forums. I'm writing now because I think I have a somewhat quirky house with quite the history.

I'll start by introducing the house. The house is located in Putnam County on a parcel that was purchased from the state of Ohio in 1833 by one of the original settlers of the county! My research started when after I bought the house, I started becoming very interested in the history of the place because we were told it was built in 1900, but I've determined it's much older than that. Through tax assessments, the historical society, old maps, and recorded pioneer stories I've come to the house being built sometime in the 1860s. Between 1850 and 1860, the tax assessment doubled, I found a newspaper article from the 1860s reporting the original owner's house burned down (leading me to believe this house was the replacement), and the construction style shows some old construction techniques.

What makes the house quirky is the layout and construction methods. The sills and main beams in the basement are all 7x9 hand hewn timbers mortise and tenoned together and the studs, joists and rafters are all rough sawn. The studs are a mixture of 2x4 and 4x4 posts setting right on the sills. The joists are all 2x7 1/2 which I find to be an odd size, and are notched into the sills and beams with 45 degree relief cuts.

Now here's the weird part...The front part of the house seems to be timber framed with studs between the timbers and knee braces in the corners, the back wing appears platform framed, however the entire house (minus the additions for bathrooms) was built at the same time. The hand hewn sills appear to be in their original layout. Also Odd to me is that the roofline is a classic ELL shape, but the bump out on the first floor for the kitchen seems to be original as well.

I talked with a guy who grew up in the house, and his parents bought the place in 1939. In the 1940's the house was lifted and a basement was hand dug underneath it, bathrooms added, and the chimney replaced.

In 1939, the small hip roof shed and the back barn (Timber framed) were built, in 1973 an old corn crib barn was torn down to make room for the small red building, and in 2022 I put up a big red barn where the old one was blown down in 2009. In 2006ish, the 80 acres of fields was parceled off the house and left me with 4 acres of my own, but one day I hope to scoop the 80 back up and add it to the rest of the family farm that is conveniently right next door and across the road from me.

I hope you all are ready for the questions I'll be asking about this place because it sure does have some history and oddities!