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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Old Stone House: Part 2

The Stone House as it looks today. This is actually the back of the house which faces Carolina Avenue and the Ohio River. Find out why in today's installment of "The Old Stone House."

In the early 1830s, Samuel Marks and family arrived by flatboat from Pittsburgh and landed at the south side of East Liverpool, Ohio, then the northern-most point of Virginia. He purchased 1,000 acres of the "Cochrin land" for $1,000 or $1.00 an acre. It was this same land that J.E. McDonald would purchase fifty years later in order to construct his "Showcase of the East": Rock Springs Park.

John Chaney in his book "The Old Stone House" wrote of this period and the Marks' beloved home. "At one time this area was inhabited by Indians. Naturally there were many Indian trails. A trail that they (the Indians) used was still quite visible when the Marks came. The house was built facing the trail, very peculiar since most homes were built facing the river."

At the time Chaney was writing in 1966, the exterior of the Stone House was blackened due to its proximity to the industrial centers of the area: several potteries and a tin mill along the Ohio River. However he points out that originally the stone was a "creamy tan...sparkling with those glittery things that are in sandstone," beautiful and still visible in the basement untouched by the elements and factory smoke.

Because of the tools which were used to cut the stone blocks, none of the windows in the house are the same size. The house is supported by huge tree trunks split in half that run overhead for the entire length of the basement and still show the axe marks where the trees were shaped nearly two hundred years ago. The basement also includes a fireplace, as did every room in the house, until the ones in the upstairs were "blocked up and had false walls put in front of them," during a renovation in the 1950s according to Chaney.

Coming Soon: Johnny Appleseed and the Old Stone House

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