Lorain’s History Mystery- The Wurmser House- a tale of two houses
ED NOTE: Two more of the tornado photos of the Wurmser House have been added-Thank you Dennis Lamont
Earlier this month I went on a rant – a rant about historical significance and the throw away homes of this oldest neighborhood of Lorain
I recounted the pattern of neglect and cover-up ( literally) of Lorain’s pioneer history.
The Wurmser House on West Erie – you remember this house don’t you ?
The house , according to the Ohio Historical Inventory , could be one of Charleston Village’s oldest buildings circa 1840-
Click on to enlarge
They make mention of the fact in their report:
“surrounding residences date much later from the early 20th century”
Infact, in 1924 a tornado came through Lorain and destroyed many homes and the Wurmser house at the address 1348 was apparently one of them. Dan Brady of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2011/02/5th-west-erie-then-and-now.html and Renee Dore(CVSI) and I have puzzled over the tornado photos shown here:
and yet another view of the wrecked Wurmser House here :
Something doesn’t add up-
This home according to the Ohio Historic Inventory ( the professionals and those who studied the architecture) is much older than its neighborbors – but the pictures don’t lie – this is not the house that was originally on that lot.
So how did this home , according to the Ohio Historic Inventory , which was probably 80 years old by the time of the tornado end up sitting on a lot that had had a much younger home situated there.
If indeed the Ohio Historic Inventory is to be believed and the house is around circa 1840- the only possible explanation is – it was moved there from elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Lorain actually has a “history of moving ” structures, so it isn’t that far-fetched – for instance this house
“History of the First Methodist Church -1856-1956” page 21
Our first parsonage is pictured for you right along side of the little brick church. It was built when the church was built and cost $1,000. It stood on the northwest corner of Washington and W. Main St ( W. Erie) on lot no 110 of the original town plat ……..
The parsonage was a good house for those days but when Rev. J.P. Mills came in 1883 we find in records “The Parsonage underwent repairs, an addition was built, the grounds graded ….. The manse[cleric’s house] was sold when the old church was torn down. A Mr. Robinson , a young real estate dealer of the day, bought the property for $1,650.00 ……….
For many years a Miss Kate Baumgart owned the corner property but quite a few feet of land were taken off when W. Erie was widened. One of the oil companies bought the corner when it became eligible for business and the house was moved north on Washington and west on Fox St. ( 2nd St). If you go down that way you will see it about half way down the block on the north side. ………
For a house that is getting on for 80 years old( 1956) it looks pretty good. The trimming under the eves, fancy wooden braces, still help hold up the style and incidentally the roof….
The trimming under the eaves is still there but half the chimney is missing
(ED NOTE: are you listening Lorain- city of-any grants available, surely if we can get grants to tear them down we can also find ones to save them???
THE FIRST PURPOSE BUILT PARSONAGE FOR THE METHODIST CHURCH 1872 (possibly the first Lorain parsonage – research needed )
I will explore in part two some other “movers and shakers” . It seems Lorain’s forefathers recycled – they valued their buildings and I believe this is a possible explanation with regard to the Wurmser House. It is another of Lorain’s History Mysteries and there is more to be explored with “this old house”.
ED NOTE if anyone has information re the moving of Lorain’s homes through the years please contact me .
to be continued……………………..
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, history, Lorain's Magical History Tour. Tags: Charleston Village, disgraceful, history, Lorain, Lorain's history, waste not want not.