It is almost a shock to see this circa 1927 Spanish Eclectic house at 534 East Front Street among block after block of Front Street Victorian-era architecture. Indeed, it is somewhat rare to see such a building anywhere outside of Florida and our southwestern states.

 

From about 1915 until 1940 this style became popular in America.

 

It normally features details contained in this house: cross-gabled red tile roof, one or more prominent arches in the door area, the wall surface of stucco, asymmetrical facade, decorated chimney tops, and wrought iron window grilles. 

This house, which also has large double-doors with iron ornamentation, was built by Homer L. Yaryan who came here in the 1920s and for a time owned Yaryan Motor Company, a Ford Motor Company automobile agency. He was later a coal dealer.

The Yaryan House
534 East Front St.

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Its builder and age are lost in time, but this almost miniature Greek Revival structure once sat on the east side of the first block of Louisiana and was the law office of Daniel K.

Hollenbeck. Its original size was about 15 by 30 feet and was probably built ca.1860 - 1869. It was sometimes referred to as the "courthouse," possibly because it looks like one with its stately fluted columns, but more likely because it may have been used as one by an early justice of the peace. In 1919, it was bought by Robert C. Pew, a founder of Sun Oil Company, and moved to his estate on Maple Street where it was adapted for use as a studio for his daughter, who was an artist.

 

The floors are of random-width pine attached with wooden pegs, and bark-covered log beams confirm its antiquity. It has been enlarged in the rear for a bedroom. It has also been moved once or twice, and the present owner uses it as a guesthouse.

The Old "Courthouse"

535 East Front St.

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This house, constructed ca. 1855, once sat at what is now the Kazmaier Grocery parking lot at the northwest corner of Elm and East Second Streets.

It is associated with the pioneer John Bates Family. 

Italianate in style, it has typical details such as a symmetrical shape, hipped roof, and wide overhanging eaves. The full porch is supported by slender posts with scrolled brackets.

John Bates came to Perrysburg in 1835 and was a long-time Wood County treasurer and township trustee. 

The Bates House

566 East Front St.

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The brick house at 572 East Front Street, while not one of Perrysburg's old Victorian treasures, is included in this series because there are not too many of its style in town. It is English Tudor, sometimes called Jacobethan Revival, which derives from architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries. It was designed by Perrysburg architect Harold H. Munger.

It was built in 1928 by Ernest and Lucile Kuehn.

Mrs. Kuehn's parents, Howard and Sara Warner, lived one door east on the corner at East Boundary Street in the Queen Anne house (the Acklin House) that had been moved across the street from the river side of East Front Street.

Called by historic building inventory people an "impressive example" of its architectural style, the Kuehn House is of asymmetrical shape and features several steep side gables, at least two with the tops clipped, or receding, a central tower with parapets, or battlements, and leaded casement multi-pane windows. On the west side, two large gable dormers are joined by a row of the same kind of windows. The front entrance has an arched stone-edged doorway and over it is a matching arched window with a wrought iron grille beneath it. Inside is an enormous sunken living room. This style house was very popular in America during the 1920s and '30s.

Not much is found in local records about Mr. Kuehn other than that he was a sales manager for Velvet Brand Ice Cream Company (SealTest brand) in the late '20s when the house was built. During the Depression the family lived with Mrs. Kuehn's parents next door while the brick home was rented. Still later, he operated Mr. Warner's dry goods firm in Toledo, was sales manager of Miller Oil Co., and worked at Rossford Ordnance Depot.

The Kuehns eventually purchased the old house at 338 East Sixth Street (reportedly badly rundown at the time, according to their daughter, and remodeled it to its attractive appearance today.

The Keuhn House

572 East Front St.

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This Queen Anne house at 576 East Front Street, with most of the characteristics typical of its style, is one of several houses in that block that were moved to their present locations from other sites in town.

According to a former resident, this one is associated with the Donald R. Acklin family and was built and originally sat on the riverside of East Front. When, where exactly, and by whom it was built cannot be determined by the writer and can be the challenge for some long-time resident who might still remember.

It is a rather large asymmetrical building with a multi- gabled roof, a prominent tower with a conical roof topped by a finial, shingled walls on the second floor with clapboard on the first, and the stories separated by a pent roof. The main entry  has an overhanging porch which is supported by three Ionic columns. On the west side a window beneath the gable has short pilasters flanking it. Windows in general are varied, usually 6 over 6.

Donald Acklin was a member of one of Toledo's oldest and best known families that founded Acklin Stamping Company. He was socially prominent and widely known as a horseman and polo player. For many years he was a vice president of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture in charge of the Horse Division.

In 1931 Mr. Acklin was accidentally killed by carbon monoxide fumes while painting and working on an automobile in his garage behind where he was living at the time at 409 East Front Street.

The Acklin House

576 East Front St.

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This river estate, called Needmore, was originally the farm of Col. George P. Greenhalgh, son-in-law and business partner of William A. Walbridge. It was acquired by Duane Stranahan Sr., son of Champion Spark Plug founder Frank D. Stranahan, in the late 1930s. The architect for the building was Toledo's Mills, Rhines, Bellman & Nordhoff. Landscaping was created by Ellen Shipman, the interior design by Helen Irwin, and the outbuildings by Alfred Hopkins, all of New York. 

The house is Colonial Revival in style, built of fieldstone and clapboard with the cornice running the full length of the building.

 

Chimneys are on the ends for visual balance. Wings on the right side are clapboard while the main section is stone. Windows are straight-topped and rounded. The outbuildings (former stables and guest houses mainly) are examples of the Federal style.

Through efforts of the late Mrs. (Virginia) Stranahan, the entire property is now permanently preserved as a public learning facility called the 577 Foundation. The former V -shaped stables housed the show and polo horses of Greenhalgh, an avid horseman and artillery officer in World War I. 

When the Carranor Club won the Midwest Circuit of the National Polo Association championship in the 1920s, ponies were brought into this open area for accolades and goodies during an outdoor dinner celebration. 

The Duane Stranahan House

577 East Front St.

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There are several log cabins still existing in Perrysburg,  but there is only one that we know of that is not enclosed within a modern day house. That one is the Woolfert Cabin, which now sits upon the grounds of the 577 Foundation on East Front Street. 

It originally sat on the bluff overlooking the river where it bends along East River Road less than a mile from town. The ground it rested on was part of the late George and Eleanor Roose estate, and with the exception of some 20 years, it was in the same family for several generations. The several acre riverside strip was acquired in 1873 by the Rev. George A. Adams, long-time pastor of the Presbyterian Church.

 

Mr. Adams was the grandfather of Mr. Roose who died in 1984, at the age of 89. The Roose property has since been subdivided and sold as individual home sites.

If information published some 60 years ago is accurate this structure could be the oldest building in the area. A Toledo newspaper article in the 1930s said that a pioneer named Woolfert, about which nothing more is known, chopped down trees and built the cabin in 1803 or 1804. That was just 10 years after the Indians here in Northwest Ohio were subdued by Anthony Wayne in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

At the time it was built, the two-story cabin sat in heavy timber which provided the white ash logs that are held together by black walnut pegs. By the time of World War I, as still-living residents can recall it, the cabin was in a dilapidated stage, with the roof caving in. One nearby resident remembers defying parental admonishments by playing in it as a child and showing a bloodstained floor where an Indian was supposed to have scalped one or more wives. That was quite probably a childhood fantasy, but other stories are perhaps less legendary. 

Once a family of 11 crowded the place. Once it appears to have been part of a bootleg operation since a stash of bottles and remains of a still were uncovered close to a nearby well. And once a newspaper account said it was a camera site for a cowboy movie. But over the years a large number of people have lived in the old place, including the James Marriott family who arrived from England in 1884 and whose nine children were born in the cabin.

When Mr. and Mrs. Roose made plans to build their home on the property in the 1930s, they set up housekeeping in the cabin during construction. They first modernized it with electricity and plumbing, replaced the roof and windows, replaced mud chinking with cement, and restored the logs (that had been painted white) to their natural look. Over the years they made it into an attractive guest home, with all the amenities.

George A. Adams, the third owner of the property, was born on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts in 1821. He came to Ohio with his parents five years later and lived near Cleveland. He later lived in Buffalo, New York, and was educated at Oberlin College, after which he taught school before studying for the ministry.

In 1856, he came to Perrysburg to take charge of a Presbyterian congregation then worshipping in a rented Universalist Church building on the corner across the street where Saint Rose Church is located. For the next 47 years the Reverend George Adams was pastor, taking time out for about a year and a half to serve as chaplain of the 12th Ohio Cavalry during the Civil War. He was a prominent member of the Maumee Valley Pioneer Association, the local Masonic lodge, and the Toledo Pastor's Union. He died in 1903, at the age of 82, still the active pastor.

The Woolfert Cabin

577 East Front St.

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