Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carl West House Built 1850

Fourth in a series of articles from the Wilmington News-Journal about the New Vienna Pilgrimage of Old Houses in the spring of 1953. A photocopy of this article was obtained from the Clinton County Historical Society. For list of other articles see links at the end of this article. Transcription follows [Notes added in bracketed italics.]
Carl West Colonial House - Wilmington News-Journal clipping 1953
Captioned:  Mrs. Carl West stands near the cherry grandfathers' clock on the stair landing in their house built in 1850.  The cherry and black walnut used throughout were taken from timber on the land and can be seen in the stair rail.  (News-Journal Photo).

New Vienna Pilgrimage of Old Houses –

Carl West House is Colonial
Old Hand Hewn Oak, Cherry Woods Used Throughout

(Editor's Note:  The New Vienna Pilgrimage of old houses will open the county's observance of Ohio's sesquicentennial and will be held June 6 and 7.  the owners of the houses have written the histories of their properties and told some of the interesting architectural points and the furnishings and other pieces which they contain.  Proceeds of the ticket sale for the pilgrimage will go to the Clinton County Historical Society.  The following is the story of the Thomas H. Swingley residence.)

The Carl West house on Route 28 is of New England colonial style being built by James and Lucinda [Turner] McKibben in 1850.  The father of James McKibben immigrated here in 1801, originally owning 2,000 acres of land, of which this farm was a part.  At that time the Indians were so hostile, having  a camp on East Fork, that they did not stay, but returned in 1803.  Their nearest neighbors were people at Morgantown, now Snow Hill.

According to information received from the granddaughter of James and Lucinda, Mrs. Burr Johnson [Flora McKibben Johnson, 1881-1961] of Arlington, VA., the cherry and black walnut used in the house were taken from the timber on the land.  These you can see in the stair rail and closets.

The oak frame work was also from the timber here.  This frame work is hand hewn with the plates and sills running as long as 55 feet in some places in one piece.  In remodeling these old sills proved to be a problem because it was impossible to drill through them.  They are almost as hard as cement.  Wiring had to be done in a roundabout manner because of this difficulty.  The nails used were square headed and long and were made in the blacksmith shop.
*  *  *
All the rooms on the first floor had fireplaces in them for heating purposes.  These have all been closed except one in the living room which has the original mantel.  The others have been cut down or completely closed.  The present china closets in the dining room were originally closets which have been closed up.  The present owners knew of this so used this space to advantage.

The red stained glass windows around the front entrance came from England and are said to have been processed with gold in them to give them their color.  Since the house has always had many children in it, it is amazing that none of these have ever been broken.

According to the family reports, the stairs were the pride and joy of the McKibben family.  They waited for months for a certain stair builder who built stairs the way they really wanted theirs built.  These stairs show today that they were built well and with a sense of artistry.

On the first stair landing is a cherry grandfathers' clock hand made in 1953 by Stanley McKenzie [1896-1969] and Roscoe E. Moore.  The works came from a clock out of the old school building in Martinsville.  The clock was copied exactly from an original by G.S.H. Bellerose of Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada in 1800, by Roscoe Moore who was aided by Stanley McKenzie in the construction of it.  Mrs. Moore stained the wood and did all the designing on the face of the clock.  The painting was done by Robert Huffman of Martinsville.

*  *  *
In the dining room is a cherry mantel clock, electric works, but copied from original made by Herman Clark of Connecticut in 1810.  This clock was made entirely by Roscoe E. Moore.  The painting was done by Robert Huffman.

One of the bedrooms is made up in old style with a blue coverlet used on the bed.  The coverlet is a family heirloom of Mrs. West's.  [Harriett Hunter West 1916-2005]

The house is still the same style in the front but has lent itself well to modernization, the side porch being transformed into a modern kitchen in 1952.  Old houses in good repair can be used to advantage even in this modern day.

The house has been occupied by only three different families.  The McKibbens, Monroe Browns and the Wests!  Two families of McKibbens, James and Lucinda, his son, John Milton, and Eva; one family of Monroe Brown [1853-1921] and Mathilde; two families of Wests, Arthur [1877-1966] and Audra [Andra (?) Swearingen], his son Carl [1915-1997] and Harriett, [there may be more to this article, since this ends with a comma, but this ends the photocopy and the transcription and seems like a conclusion.  Perhaps the comma was a typo?]

* * * * *
Houses in the 1953 New Vienna Pilgrimage of Old Houses include:
Yet to be featured:
  • Charles Blackburn House built 1838
  • Brown Home, possibly built by Isaac Woodmansee c1840
  • Christy Home, Panhandle Road, c1850

No comments:

Post a Comment