Tuesday, December 2, 2008

East Dayton Farmhouses: The Huston Houses

South of the Hamer property was an unowned quarter section (at least in 1805), the southeast quarter of Section 29.

This property, or 150 acres of it, was acquired by Israel Huston 1826. Israel came from Greene County, where his family had settled. He married a farmers daughter, Elizabeth Harsman, from the neighboring farm. So who owned it between 1805 and 1826? Which makes one wonder if this property had some connection with the Harshmans as they owned land all around it.

On the 1850s map one can see a farmhouse on the property, owned by Elizabeth Huston.

Later maps show this house joined by one other, and some orchards. Both houses were located on the low bluff dropping down to the Mad River valley, paralled by the hydraulic canal leading from todays Eastwood Park to the Front Street buildings.

On the 1875 map one can see some orchards next to both houses. Also, the property lines are clear enough to show that early on the Hustons didn't have much frontage on the Springfield pike. Perhaps this property had been owned by others at the time of the 1826 purchase.

By 1895 the city was encroaching on the property. One can see from this map that one house is shown slightly larger, and so it appears on this birdseye...

..yes, these two 19th century houses are still standing.
Zooming in on the southern, perhaps older house, one does see what looks like an old I-house facing out over the bluff toward the river bottoms, but with a largish series of additions to the rear.
The front facade is a classic antebellum I-house, with flanking chimneys and a somewhat asymmetric entrance. Could this have dated to the time of Israel Huston, or is it even earlier?

The wings to the rear are fairly well in keeping with the front house in porportion. One has to admire that limestone stone fence in front. Is that original?

The second house, just to the north, appears on the 1869 map but not the 1850s map, dating it to the 1860s at the latest. It's board and batten, with some interesting window treatments and little side vents in the gable.

One has to wonder about the story behind this house as it isn't shown under seperate ownership. Perhaps it was built for one of the Huston children?

The property was finally first subdivided by J.R. Huston in 1902. The property was finally completely subdivided in 1924 as two plats, Beverley Hills north of todays Woodley, and Grand View Heights south of Woodley. These plats were finally built-out in the 1950s.

The first Huston house is perhaps one of the oldest, if not the oldest, true farm house between Smithville and Tals Corner, another excellent example of Dayton's architectural patrimony.

Next, two heirloom houses from east of Smithville, and the story of the Maryland colony.


Foreverglow said...
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Unknown said...

Thank you for your research on the old Huston house. Israel Huston and Elizabeth Harshman Huston were my great, great, great grandparents. I have an old news clipping showing the house and describing the fire that "destroyed" the house. I can sent you a copy. I also have a fine oil portrait of Elizabeth. Wchatfield@fuse.net

Unknown said...

Hello. Really enjoyed reading your blogs and looking at pics and maps of east dayton. Found this while looking for old maps and pics of the area. I grew up on irwin street and family came to that street in 1930. There was an old man that lived behind me on first street whos family had lived there since the 1800s the house still stands and grandkids now reside there. He always told me about hunting and fishing the canal in that area when east daytin was still wooded and farmland. Family said they have boxes full of old maps he drew, pics, and journals he kept since he was a kid. That man and his family were very dear to me. They were german and italian. If your still actively researching this area contact me and i may be able to obtain stuff from that family. Dinkbuster1@yahoo.com