Baldauf Home (1859) [Wilson - Bernard Home]

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Wilson - Bernard House nominated to National Register

This description is based on information
compiled by the Avon Historical Society.

Built by Ebenezer Wilson just prior to the Civil War, this gray box-on-box structure is privately owned and proudly restored. Wilson was a 34 year-old immigrant from Northhampshire, England. A practical man, he came with a deed to 180 acres from the Connecticut Land Grant Company, and promptly put up a log cabin.

Almost immediately he began work on a permanent home, directly across the dirt road from the cabin. Amherst sand-stone blocks were hauled in. Material and labor costs were $600. The 5-foot-thick foundation tapers to to three foot walls. Plaster was mixed with horsehair and; as one owner said, is "hard as iron." This is truly one of the most unique homes in Avon.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 9-7-09, by Adam Wright

``Avon family gets house named an official Ohio historical site

AVON -- It stands tall between farmland to the west and subdivisions to the east.

A massive sandstone lintel carved with the date '1861' - the year it was built - hovers over the elaborate entrance, which is layered in carved wooden pilasters, transom and side lights.

Last week, the beautiful Mediterranean-style home off Center Road officially became an Ohio historical site and is only a few applications away from being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Homeowner Nancy Bernard, whose idea it was to get the house recognized as historic, said the idea came to her in 2002 and she has spent the last seven years making that dream come true.

"It was already recognized by the city, so I thought it would be really neat to get it listed on the National Register," said Bernard, 44.

A little research on the Internet and a few phone calls to the Ohio Historical Society later and Bernard was on her way, sort of.

"I've filled out so many applications, and you have to submit pictures, and they have to be in black and white and a certain size, and there are a lot of different things you have to do," she said.

On Aug. 28, the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board met for the last of its biannual meetings and voted to nominate the home for the National Register. Someone from Columbus will come up soon to research whether the style of the home is Greek or Italian, take some more pictures, and then the fate of its historical nature will be in the hands of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

"I'm really excited," Bernard said.

She moved into the home in 1993, shortly after marrying her husband, Eric Bernard, whose parents purchased it in 1963. Now she lives there with her husband and two children, ages 13 and 11.

Construction on the home began in 1859 by Ebenezer Wilson and his family, and it was finished two years later. "It's a sandstone house, part of it from the Amherst Quarry," Bernard said.

The Wilson family sold the home in 1907 and it was lived in by the Falkner family and Baldauf family before Eric Bernard's parents bought it.

More than $60,000 has been spent updating the home, which included new plumbing and replacing knob and tube electricity ...

It has two bathrooms, one of which was added by her in-laws by replacing a bedroom, two attics - one that is level with the second floor - and a cellar.

Bernard said it isn't clear when she'll be notified regarding the department's decision to place the home on the National Registry, but she already has the spot picked out where the plaque she'll receive will go -- right on the front of her home next to two others given to her by the city [one by the Avon Historical Society and the other by the Avon Landmarks Preservation Commission] and one she will receive soon from the state.

"I guess I'll have four plaques there," she said.''

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7129 or awright@chroniclet.com.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 9-7-09, By RICHARD PAYERCHIN, rpayerchin@MorningJournal.com

Wilson-Falkner-Baldauf House in Avon [Wilson - Bernard House]

``AVON -- A historic house in Avon ... could land on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board has recommended the national list include the Wilson-Falkner-Baldauf House, 3260 Center Road, Avon, and the Feick Building, 158-160 E. Market St., Sandusky. The recommendations will be sent to the keeper of the register for consideration and the state and local officials could learn in about 90 days if they will be added, said Tom Wolf, communications coordinator for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

The Wilson-Falkner-Baldauf House's local significance as an example of a 19th century farmhouse built of sandstone and rubble [Avon] fieldstone quarried in the Amherst area made for its nomination.

It, and several others around Amherst, Avon and Avon Township, were built before the emergence of large-scale quarry operations and improved technology of the late 19th century, said Nancy Bernard, who prepared the home's nomination.

"These houses are all distinctively different from the late 19th and early 20th century counterparts and public buildings," Bernard wrote, citing National Register listings for other sandstone buildings in the county. "The stone work in these early houses is all hand cut and tooled instead of machine sawn and the style and general plans range from simple one-story to more elaborate two-story Greek Revival and Italianate styles."

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office agreed: "Finish-tool marks on the sandstone blocks demonstrate the skill of a master stone mason, and an ornate staircase, woodwork and mantel reflect the overall quality of materials and craftsmanship," the state evaluation said ...

Lorain County has 150 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while Erie County has 177 and Huron County has 18. To see a list, visit the Ohio Historic Preservation Office's searchable database posted at ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/ohpo/nr/index.aspx''

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF AVON, OHIO, TO 1974

If you would like to contribute information on this home, please email: tjs11@centurytel.net

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