Ohio boasts a rich history and heritage, characterized by numerous historic landmarks and monuments that reflect both its past and present. One such remarkable site is the oldest house in the state, a 120-year-old gem standing proudly in Findlay, Ohio. In this blog post, we delve into the history, architecture, and significance of this extraordinary house, explaining why it merits a visit.
The Oldest House in Ohio: A Historical Overview
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 29, 2006, the Charles H. Bigelow House holds the distinction of being Ohio’s oldest house. Constructed in 1901 by Charles H. Bigelow, a prominent figure in Findlay as a lawyer, banker, and civic leader, the house reflects his commitment to preserving local history and culture. Designed by the renowned architect Frank L. Packard, the Queen Anne-style house showcases intricate features like a complex roofline, a wraparound porch, a corner tower, and various decorative details.
Initially occupied by the Bigelow family until 1944, the house later served Findlay College (now the University of Findlay) before being sold to a private owner in 1988. Following restoration and renovation, it opened as a bed and breakfast in 1992. Today, the Hancock Historical Museum owns and operates the house, using it as both a museum and a venue for events and programs.
Architectural Marvels of the Oldest House in Ohio
Covering 4,500 square feet, the two-and-a-half-story brick structure comprises 17 rooms, including bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a library, and a kitchen. The property also features a carriage house, a gazebo, and a garden. Original and period furnishings adorn the house, showcasing the Bigelow family’s life and the history of Findlay and Ohio. Noteworthy elements include stained glass windows, fireplace mantels, hardwood floors, chandeliers, and a collection of books, documents, and artifacts.
Tours of the house, lasting about an hour and conducted by knowledgeable docents, provide insights into its history and occupants. Additionally, the house is available for rental for various events, accommodating up to 100 guests and offering catering services.
Significance of Ohio’s Oldest House
Beyond its historical architecture, the oldest house in Ohio symbolizes the heritage and identity of Findlay and the state itself. Originally built by Charles H. Bigelow, the house stands as a testament to his vision and legacy. Serving as a living museum, it preserves and showcases the history, culture, and values of the past, bridging them to the present and future. As a cherished treasure, it inspires and educates visitors, inviting them to appreciate and celebrate the beauty and diversity of Ohio.
In the heart of Findlay, Ohio, stands a 120-year-old treasure — the Charles H. Bigelow House, the oldest house in the state. Constructed in 1901 by a prominent lawyer and civic leader, it exemplifies the Queen Anne style under the design expertise of renowned architect Frank L. Packard. With its rich history, original furnishings, and availability for tours and events, this house stands as a symbol of Ohio’s heritage, a living museum connecting the past to the present, and an inspiration for all who visit.