Wednesday, March 2, 2016

John Smart House

The Medina County Historical Society was formed in 1922 and started collecting items of historical interest. For a while the collection was housed at the Franklin Sylvester Library, then later the Garfield School. In 1956, they acquired the Munson House. In 1985, the Society moved into the John Smart House.

Beautiful Victorian, John Smart House, built in 1886. Located at the corner of Elmwood and Friendship

The John Smart house was built in 1886 by.... John Smart! He and his wife, Julia, and daughters, Anna and Maud, lived in the house until around 1900 when they moved to Cleveland.

The house was then purchased by Orlo Jackson, cabinet maker, and his wife Adelaide Jackson, milliner. They lived in the house until 1913.

POP QUIZ: What is a milliner???  Answer below.

Next, William Benson Baldwin family bought the home. He was the editor of The Medina County Gazette.

Finally, the home was purchased by William L. Hammerschmidt, who owned a florist shop and greenhouse. He and his family lived in the house until the 1930's.

The house became a rental home for awhile and then it housed the Medina Eagles.

Around 1950, the home housed Medina County Government offices, primarily, the Board of Education.

In 1985, the Medina County Historical Society took over the house.
More details on the house's history.

The Historical Society has worked hard to restore the Victorian home to its original splendor.
Medina County Gazette 31 Oct. 1987 page C-4.
This is how the house looked when the Historical Society took it over.
This is how the house looked in 1987 after the exterior renovation.
The interior did not need as much work to restore it to its original condition.

They continue to work very hard to  maintain it. Which is why the house, which is home to the Historical Society's Museum collection will be closed for two months. And they have sent out a call for help:

Press Release from Historical Society

If you have never visited the John Smart House, plan a visit when it  reopens in May. The wonderful Victorian architecture and furnishings are incredible. Then, there is the Historical Collection to WOW any history buff. And we can all look forward to the new, dry basement!

Happy St. Patrick's Day
(a little early, I know!)

The folks at FindMyPast are giving free access to millions of Irish records until 7 March in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  FindMyPast

We're excited to reveal the launch of 10 million new Irish Catholic Parish Registers on Findmypast today. Covering the majority of Ireland, this incredible record set includes 40 million names, 3,500 registers and over 1,000 parishes. To celebrate, we're making all 110 million Irish records free for everyone until 7th March.

Answer to POP QUIZ: according to Merriam Webster a milliner is:  "a person who designs, makes, or sells women's hats."

Sources: Historical Highlights of Medina County, "Welcome to the John Smart House" brochure, The Medina County Gazette, 31 October 1987, page C-4.

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