Captain Levi C. Lock was, among other things, a well- known steamboat captain here during the Victorian era, and he built this attractive two-story Tuscan Villa Italianate brick home at 208 East Front Street sometime after his retirement in 1868.

Born in 1815, he settled in Wood County in 1835. He was in business partnership with Dr. Erasmus D. Peck here when Peck sent him in 1847 to Bowling Green to start a mercantile business. He became a prominent resident of that town, being one of it incorporators in 1855.

 

He also served as justice of the peace and clerk of Center Township, was postmaster and a forwarding agent there, and built and operated an ashery, the first manufacturing enterprise in Bowling Green.

The house he built to spend his retirement years in here is called one of the most authentic examples of the Tuscan style in the Perrysburg-Maumee area. It has a flat hip roof with a broad overhang embellished by paired eaves brackets, and round-headed windows with corbelled brick drip moldings. A round-headed double door front entrance has stained and leaded glass panes and there is a fanlight above the doors. The Colonial-style canopy over the entry, supported by Tuscan columns, is a later addition. An Italianate porch originally extended across the full length of the front, and a one-story addition with hip roof has been built onto the rear.

At some point Captain Lock was engaged in the transportation of fish between here and Toledo when commercial fishing was a sizeable Maumee River industry. He was at one time owner of the Cora Lock, a popular side-wheeler riverboat that ran between here and Toledo. It was named for his daughter, a well-known lady here.

Levi Lock died in 1874 at the age of 59.

The Lock House

208 East Front St.

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Any continuing discussion of Perrysburg architecture must include Saint Rose Catholic Church, our own existing version of an English or French Medieval cathedral.

This fine old landmark, built on property acquired in 1865 at Front and Elm Streets and claimed by some to be the first stone church in the Maumee Valley, was begun in 1889 when some 7,000 people were reported to have attended the laying of the cornerstone. In addition to parishioners, a chartered train and the river steamer, Pastime, brought visitors from all around the area. Another overflow crowd attended its dedication in 1893.

The perpendicular-style Gothic Revival structure, designed by John Burkart of Kenton, Ohio, is built of Sandusky blue limestone lined on the interior with some 400,000 bricks hauled here from the east side of Toledo. The foundation is lined with limestone quarried at Lime City. The buttressed walls, capped by pinnacles or turrets, contain tall pointed-arch windows with decorative geometric ornamentation, or tracery, in the arches, and imported leaded stained glass obtained through the firm of Friedrich and Staffins in Detroit.

Two small entrances flank the main, each having double wooden doors set under Berea sandstone arches. The square tower supports an octagonal steeple on which is mounted a cross recently renovated. The top of the cross stands 170 feet above ground level. The belfry contains three bells weighing in at  2,800 pounds, 1,400 pounds and 800 pounds. 

In a niche about midway up the front of the tower is a large statue of St. Rose of Lima, patron saint of the church. Executed in Carrara marble by an Italian sculptor and weighing about three tons, the statue was given by the church's Catholic Mutual Benevolent Association and installed in 1909. The local paper reported that some 2,500 people paraded at the dedication. Above the statue are two lancet-shaped louvered belfry windows. The facade also features corbelling in stone beneath the gable, and the later addition of a wide set of stone entrance steps with iron railings flanked by carved stone walls.

Inside, a richly groined, or vaulted, ceiling is divided into three naves. The ceiling was built by the builder of the original Way Library building and frescoed by a Cincinnati artist. The walls of the naves are supported by angle and tower walls. Ornate statuary and paintings also decorate the interior. A large chandelier originally was suspended from the main ceiling. Pews seating 800 people were of red oak and of Gothic design. The church was wired for electricity in 1908 and other renovations were made on the building in 1914 and 1946.

Interestingly, the pipe organ in the church is even older than the building and it is said the be one of the finest in northwest Ohio. It was built by Garrett House of Buffalo, New York, at a cost of $2,000, and was installed in 1892.

It would be difficult to single out specific individuals most responsible for erection of the building, but certainly the pastor at the time, 28-year-old Gustave Rieken who came here newly ordained just a few years earlier, showed remarkably mature management and fund raising skills. Assisting as a building committee were Frank Haas, Timothy Hayes, Valentine Fink, George Spoerl, John Alt and Godfred Schwind. 

The cost (some $30,000) was perhaps greatly reduced by free labor from parishioners and the donation of innumerable interior appointments and ornaments. Even, so the congregation consisted of only about 150 families at the time and was able to pay off the debt in only 11 years.

Saint Rose Church

215 East Front St.

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Vernacular Victorian architecture with a touch of Queen Anne features, this house may have been built ca. 1885 by the Levi Lock family after his death, or even moved here from another location. 

 

Early descriptions mention a now removed vergeboard with five rosettes in the front gable. The picture window in the downstairs front if likely a later addition. Note the interesting recessed corner front entrance with spindlework detailing.

The Lock Family House

220 East Front St.

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For close to 60 years John H. Rheinfrank practiced medicine in Perrysburg and served as a leading citizen in the community. In the process, in 1895 he built this large Queen Anne-style frame house at 228 East Front that stayed in the family until it was sold by his grandson, George, in 1980.

Dr. Rheinfrank was born in Bridgewater, Michigan, about 50 miles north of Perrysburg, in 1840. He attended school in Ypsilanti and studied literature at the University of Michigan. At the outbreak of the Civil War he attempted to enlist, but being turned down for health reasons, he then enrolled in the school of medicine, graduating in 1864.

Soon afterward he came to Perrysburg to set up practice.

Over the years, Dr. Rheinfrank rode and drove into the outlying Black Swamp to tend the sick, and patched up countless area residents injured by buzz saws during the lumbering and woodworking era here and in accidents involving horse transportation.

The Rheinfrank home was designed by Toledo architects Bacon and Huber. It is a fine example of irregular and multi-gable Queen Anne. The large gable in the front has a Palladian window-style opening containing two supporting wooden posts. Behind it is a space and a set of recessed windows. The gable on the east side contains a round arched window and on the west side is a large molded brick chimney with a carved stone ornament between the first and second stories. The first is clapboard while the second and the gables are shingle, and the walls in the second story flare out to meet the eaves.

The raised front veranda is supported by slender Doric columns and extends around to the east side. The recessed front entry has double doors. A two-story clapboard addition has been made in the rear. A large garage building in the rear has a hip roof with gables and eyebrow windows and was originally the stable. To the left of it is a smaller wooden tower structure that was once a pump house that provided water for several nearby houses.

The doctor worked out of an office on Louisiana Avenue, and in 1865, he refitted the second floor for a hospital. Two years later he bought and converted the brick home and business building on the north side of the first block of West Front into the Rheinfrank Hospital. His son, William, received his degree in medicine in 1894 and joined his father at the new hospital which over the years gained fame as a treatment center for thyroid ailments. William's son-in-law, Dr. Norman Foley, also a thyroid specialist, worked with him until World War II. The old hospital was closed in 1955.

John Rheinfrank served as mayor of Perrysburg for eight years, was on the board of trustees of the Perrysburg Gas Works and was a member of Phoenix Lodge No. 123, F. & A. M. and the Knights of Pythias. He died in 1920 at the age of 80.

The Rheinfrank House

228 East Front St.

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It's a well preserved, small Queen Anne cottage sitting at 239 East Front Street. Its historic name is the Ladd House and it was built in 1872, but for whom is somewhat in question.

The owner in 1982 said it was built for Anna M. Ladd, daughter of Judge David Ladd, an early Perrysburg settler and U.S. land agent. County records indicate that the house is on property then owned by F. R. Miller (builder of the Centennial Block on Louisiana Avenue) and that the daughter owned it beginning in 1894.

At any rate, the tombstone of one of Judge Ladd's three wives, Abby, who died in 1837, is said to have been discovered in the back yard and now is set in concrete in a back patio. Her body was most likely moved from the old city cemetery on Indiana Avenue at Cherry Street to Fort Meigs Union Cemetery.

The house is similar in style to country cottages made popular by architect A. J. Dowling in the first half of the 1800s. The front gable has a narrow, plain bargeboard, but there is a narrow, plain ornament beneath which is a triangular gable window. A picture window with a mansard canopy is under this. The entrance is under a porch with a shed roof supported by turned posts. The gable on the west side has a window set into a corner cut that has a supporting bracket and decorative pendant.

David Ladd, who was here as early as 1823, was one of several men who in 1836 bought land on the north shore just downriver from the rock bar and platted a town then named Marengo. A money panic the following year dashed their hopes and resulted in a sheriff's sale. He is described in one account as having lived in 1834 in a log house once used by some Scottish immigrants arriving here. 

At one time, Ladd operated a ferry from the foot of Maple Street to the town of Port Miami across the Maumee River. He was an associate judge of Common Pleas court from 1838 until 1845 and was one of the organizers and president of the Wood County Horticulture Society. He was township trustee in 1847.

The Ladd House #1

239 East Front St.

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This classic brick Italianate house that stands at 241 East Front Street was built by Frederick R. Miller about 1872. It is called one of the most beautiful and well preserved of its kind in northwest Ohio.

Frederick Miller was the prominent Perrysburg merchant who, in 1876, built the Centennial Block  at Front and Louisiana. The F. R. Miller Company sold groceries and dry goods there for many years.

The Miller home has a hipped roof with iron cresting. Attractive single brackets support a wide overhanging roof with dentils. Frieze windows are directly below, with a corbelled brick molding beneath them.

 

The facade has narrow one-over-one double-hung sash windows with incised stone lintels on the second floor. The principal eye-catcher is the spectacular stamped tin front portico with corner urns resting atop a baluster supported by ornamental columns featuring thick composite capitals (tops). The double entrance door has round arched glass panels with a floral etched transom. There is also an entrance portico on the east side supported by square columns. A stone water table extends around the house and there is a two-story brick carriage house, with matching patterns and a mansard roof, located in the rear of the property.

Frederick R. Miller was born in Hanover, Germany in 1828. His father, a mercenary soldier, received medals from British King George III for bravery at the Battle of Waterloo. The younger Miller came to Perrysburg in 1850 from Cincinnati and was associated in business with Dr. Erasmus D. Peck and his son, Henry. During the Civil War he was a lieutenant colonel and commandant at Fort Henry in Baltimore. Over the years, Miller served as councilman, village clerk and mayor, and was elected to the board of education. He also was township clerk, one of the organizers of the Perrysburg Savings and Loan Association, and cashier of the short-lived Exchange Bank.

After some 30 years here, he sold his business interests and moved to Colorado. He died while making his home in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1913, at age 85.

The F.R. Miller House

241 East Front St.

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Swiss immigrant Rudolph Danz built this gambrel-roofed Colonial Revival house, also known as Dutch Colonial, in 1910. Foot-wide segments of roof on the left and right ends of the cornice extend from the peaks. A portico is supported by Doric columns with a single door flanked by pilasters and sidelights. The left portion of the house was extended in later years. 

Danz came to Perrysburg in 1871 and was the town baker for 29 years.

The Danz House 

248 East Front St.

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