It Began with a House…

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones of The Rosen-Jones Photography Studio, Oberlin, Ohio.

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones of The Rosen-Jones Photography Studio, Oberlin, Ohio.

In 2005, I relocated from the urban East Coast to rural Ohio. My husband and I met in graduate school studying American history, and we decided that we wanted our first house to be an older home. We looked at many properties but eventually bought an Italianate beauty in Wellington, Ohio. For the next seven years, we scraped off layers of wallpaper, uncovered original wood floors, and added to our family.

When we bought the house, I wondered about its beginnings. Who built it and when? Why was it built where it was? Many of the beautiful old homes in Wellington are located south of the town center, on streets like South Main and Courtland. Our house seemed oddly placed in its spot on North Main. Why is the house oriented the way it is? It looks south across a side street called Lincoln, despite its North Main Street address. Why is its interior so strangely–at least to my modern eyes–configured?

I have been trying to determine the answers to all of these questions ever since. Looking in to them has led me down avenues I never imagined I would investigate. I have learned more than I ever hoped to know about the town I now call home, its people, landmarks, and the debt it owes to cheese. Yes, cheese. I have accumulated so much information at this point that it seems worthwhile to share it, perhaps with those interested in genealogy, Ohio history, or even dairy products.

My intention is to offer regular posts that contain biographical information on the people I have “met” in my research, occupation timelines and images of the houses I have studied, and sprinkle in some description of the more interesting resources I have found along the way. I would be delighted to connect with anyone who is related to the people I describe, or anyone who knows the location of various documents or items I will mention as I go. I am excited to get started and a little terrified, so please be kind, denizens of the Internet!

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