The Barn
For sale or trade
The Gardens
The Dreaded Hallway
Bedrooms in the Old House
Breaking Ground!
Foundation and Framing
Addition Interior
The History of the House
A Brief History of Clermont County, Ohio
Our Old House In Modern Day Clermont County, Ohio
H A U N T E D ??
Trials! Triumphs! Tribulations!
Our (Very) Old House

Welcome to our site about a historic property we hope to upgrade while maintaining its heritage. We hope you enjoy reading about the house, our progress and history of the area.

In 1986 my wife and I purchased investment property in Jackson Township, Clermont County, Ohio. It was our intention to move to this property, build an addition onto the small brick cottage and live out our retirement years on this six-acre site.

My wife and I worked for a large municipality and, as a condition of employment, could not live outside its corresponding county. After doing the math, we realized we could save money by buying property and charging a reduced rent in trade for partial care of the horses instead of paying boarding bills!

Over the years, everything we planned started to fall into place. We built a new barn for improved horse stalls, paid off the mortgage, and prepared ourselves for retirement.

And then, like an unexpected clap of thunder on a clear day, it happened .... the old farmhouse we must have passed a thousand times, and said to each other a hundred times, "Boy, wouldn't you like to get your hands on that place?" Well, it was made known to us that if we wanted it, we could have first turndown on the old place. 

It turned out, in a chance meeting with a lady at work, my wife found out the womans' mother lived down the street from our rental property. When my wife found this out, she made it known that if the house ever became available, please contact us.  We soon received a call from the son-in-law to let us know that she was interested in selling. When we asked her price, she gave us a very reasonable figure that was quite acceptable to us. The next day we found ourselves touring a house we never thought we would ever have a chance to see.

And what a pleasant surprise the interior of the house was! Although the exterior has been somewhat neglected over the years, the inside was nicely kept. The living room retained original walnut paneling, mantel and enclosed shelves. We found three bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, entry and living room downstairs. The living room was once divided by a wall that divided it from a space the owner said was once called "the library." The wall had been removed before she and her (deceased) husband bought the house in 1960. And, of course, it had been a load-bearing wall!

The house was built around 1809  from hand made bricks fired in a nearby town or possibly on site. The original owner is listed as the fifth pioneer to settle in Clermont County. Considering its age, we found the house was in admirable condition. There were some major issues that we found that must be addressed in a timely manner, but the charm, feel and aura of the place made us only want it all the more. A big surprise was the northern-most property boundary was our current investment property's southern boundary!

Some of the things we noticed on that first inspection:

> We believe the rear windows (nine lights over six) are original to the house. The front windows (weather side) are very old, but are completely different than the rear ones. All of the windows are in dire need of repair or replacement.

> The mortar between the bricks is in an advanced state of deterioration (and causing moisture to get through to the interior plaster walls in various places).

> An interior load-bearing wall removed over 40 years ago must be rebuilt.

> All of the outside wood trim must be painted; parts of it will have to be replaced.

> A weak addition on the rear of the house must be torn off and re-built. We want to add an addition from this area.

> The roof should be replaced.

> The electric and HVAC must be modernized. The kitchen is very basic. We want a modern style kitchen, so that is an issue that must be addressed.

> A lot of basic remodeling issues: plaster repair, new paint/wallpaper/flooring options, etc.

Below is the first picture we took of the house. My wife snapped it on a Nikon Cool Pix 990 while driving by at 50 mph! Not a bad photo through a car window. This shot gives you an idea of the huge project we are facing: repainting, re-roofing, tearing down the back side of the small addition, updating the heating (and get rid of that ugly oil tank!) among many other things that must be done.

Our (Very) Old House

If you want to see more "before" photos of our old farmhouse, inside and outside. Click here.

After viewing the above photos, here is a link to more. This link is also on the "Photo's" page.

We would really appreciate receiving commments about this site. Any comments, suggestions or ideas would be welcomed. Hey, if you've "been there, done that" any helpful advice would be vastly appreciated! Please email us by clicking here and please mention old house!

Once we decided to commit ourselves to purchase the property, we went into research overload. We traced deeds back to the turn of the 19th century, found references to the original owners in text books, and located old maps with original boundry lines and names of early neighbors.

Other pages within this site contain the information we have discovered to date.

Through this website, we hope to document and chronical our progress on this project.

I am now happily retired from my job and my wife resigned once we  sold the house we lived in. We have moved to the old house and now devote ourselves to spending our life savings.

Of course, there is a lot between buying this house and even moving in. We had to not only work on the old house but we wanted to build a whole new addition with full basement and two baths. The old back entrance which included the bath, would be torn off and be rebuilt from the ground up, to become the new kitchen. I also forgot to mention the leaning shed which has to go.
Our plan has been to have the addition built and finish the inside as much as we can, ourselves. We have the plans, the builder and everything in place, but the weather. It has been so wet that if we dig anything it will fill up with water and that would make a real problem.
The first attack will be the shed. I'm all for saving things but even it can't be saved in whole. We'll try to save as much wood as we can. The concrete floor though is almost 10" thick so we'll keep that for a back walkway. The nasty black covered wall of the house will be torn off, extend back an additional 4' and become the new kitchen. This area will have a crawlspace. At the back door of the house will be a room to connect the old to the new. It can work as a breakfast room (The kitchen will also connect to this). It will also have a crawlspace. The main addition will be 22'x26' and have a full basement, two baths, family room and loft.

The back of the house
All of the work begins here!

Since the weather was a bit unseasonable we decided to lay out the the addition again, just to make sure.

The weather was beginning to warm up so it was time to get to work on the shed removal.

Shed demo

All gone!
What a different look!!

With the shed gone, the next removal will be the back entry porch which is hidden in black. This is included in the addition work, so the contractor will be doing it. The concrete slab will be at the back door.

Another view
Area of the new addition

New yard ornament
We are ready!

This came down easily
A few timbers can be saved

It cleaned up well
The timbers are now stacked

It was amazing to see that not much was holding up the entire room. The removal also revealed a loft over the other side of the house. It had a floor and a cutout (plastered over years ago) to the room below. Since that opening was the only way to enter, we suspect it had been a sleeping loft for the many children in the home in the early years. After the floor of the torn off room was removed, a small area with a brick floor was uncovered. We were told it had once been a cool storage area.
There wasn't much of a foundation. I was saving as many of the large rocks and as I dug I realized many of them weren't suited to use for a foundation because they had turned to powder through all of the freeze thaw cycles. I stacked them on the concrete slab out of the way to prepare for the next phase, the digging of the drain to the back of the property.