William E. Hurst Home ("Stone Eagle Farm") (1843)
33065 Detroit Road, Avon, Ohio

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Ron Larson will restore Stone Eagle Farm

Stone Eagle Farm on Heritage Ohio's Top Opportunities List

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

An article in the October 2, 1974, issue of The Press observed that the house "has been entered in the U. S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places." It was remarked that the structure is "an unusually fine example of a stone masonry house in the Greek Revival style." Built on over 600 acres on Detroit Road, the house at one tine was the largest on Cleveland's west side. It remained in the Hurst family until 1946.

Called "Stone Eagle Farm," the handsome stone residence is easily spotted by the cast eagle atop the roof. The National Register is designed to focus nation-wide public attention on important landmarks and help guarantee their preservation. The Hurst Home has proven to be well worth preserving.


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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 7-26-06, By Rebecca Turman

``Stone Eagle Farm may get beauty rest as a bed and breakfast

AVON -- Built in 1843, it's survived three generations of the Hurst family (of England), was a mink farm from 1946-49 and was the Tomes' family home for more than 50 years before sitting abandoned for about three years.

With the question of how to preserve the William E. Hurst Home (Stone Eagle Farm), 33065 Detroit Road, hanging in the balance the past couple years, there is finally an answer. Ron Larson, owner of the Tree House Gallery and Tea Room and developer of Olde Avon Village, hopes to preserve the historical home as a bed and breakfast ...

"Mr. Larson has stepped up to preserve it," Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said at the Planning Commission meeting July 19. "He'll put it back to the way it should be on the inside. He has stepped up and put his money where his thoughts are. It's a great solution for the city."

The house, which was built by for $643 by two stonecutter brothers from Elyria, would be perfectly preserved as a high-end, classy B&B, Larson said.

"I've always admired the house," Larson said. "I think a B&B offers it to the public where they can come in and enjoy the house rather than just driving by it." Larson said that this will help preserve the building, which is one of three in Avon on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places; put on the list in 1974. The other two homes on the list are the Wilbur Cahoon House on Stoney Ridge Road and the Henry Harrison Williams House on Detroit Road.

"It's on the national registry, and I think it's a unique, if not the most unique, house in Avon," he said.

For Larson, planning to transform the house into a B&B has been going on for approximately a year now. While he is anxious to get started, the operation will be costly, he said.

"Everything is contingent on me getting all the way through (council)," he said. "I'm trying to do the best I can with the economics I have." If council approves the B&B transformation, this would be the only bed and breakfast in the area ...

With a variance granted from the Zoning Board, Larson will utilize six rooms in the B&B for guests to stay in, though B&Bs in Avon are generally only allowed three. He will be using existing rooms, not adding on, he said. He wants to maintain the home as is, though he plans to put in larger bathrooms in the house and create spacious suites for guests.

"Anything I find historically significant, I will try and save," Larson said at the Zoning Board meeting July 12 [2006]. At the Zoning Board meeting July 12, George Bliss, who lives next door to the house said, "We are happy that something good is happening to the property."

As far as the area surrounding the house, parking will be behind the house to the east, beyond the carriage house. To the west of the house, where Larson said is heavily secluded with vegetation already, he hopes to possibly create an Avon memorial garden and dedicate it to the early settlers of Avon.

Though the eagle that sat atop the house, and gave the house/property its name, was damaged, Larson said the fixture would "be restored to its roots and it (the B&B will) be called Stone Eagle Farm."

Another interesting fact about the house was that when Thomas Hurst came to Avon from England, he took ivy from Shakespeare's property and the ivy is still growing today on the east corner of the property, Larson said. All of the little details about the property create a story, Larson said.

"And the story is the house," he said. "To me, it's a trophy, and it could be a trophy for the city." "We will represent the Hurst family as best as we can. The history will be there."

The Greek Revival style house was originally built on more than 600 acres on Detroit Road and was considered to be on the of the largest homes on the Cleveland's west side. The Schafer developing company currently owns the house, and Larson will work with them once council finalizes an approval. "The most important part is saving the house now," Larson said.

Down the line, Larson plans to tie the B&B to the Olde Avon Village. Guests can stay at the B&B, have brunch at the Tree House, browse through the shops and have dinner at Henry's, Larson said ...

Larson wants the B&B to be a place where even Avon residents would want to stay and where they would recommend family and friends stay at when they are visiting. Overall, transforming the historic home into a B&B will, "give flavor to the community," Larson said.

Larson will present his plans for the B&B in front of council during the next work session, August 7 [2006].''

For more information, see www.stoneeaglefarm.com/i

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NEWS ARTICLE by The Chronicle-Telegram Staff, 5-25-09

[Stone Eagle Farm on Heritage Ohio's Top Opportunities List]

A beauty of a building, Stone Eagle Farm in Avon has withstood the tests of time and foot traffic as the home of ... the Hurst family of England.

In 1974, it was placed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. Now, a Columbus-based organization hopes to bring some positive attention to the aging property by placing it on another significant list.

Heritage Ohio has given Stone Eagle Farm a spot on its 2009 Top Opportunities List, a selection of 10 historically important properties that have been neglected but could be preserved with investment.

"We use the Top Opportunities List to spur new interest in people for their local landmarks that have become deteriorated but can still be rehabilitated," said Joyce Barrett, executive director of Heritage Ohio.

She also said the list "encourages property owners to work with community leaders to solve these building challenges by bringing optimistic attention to these nearly lost treasures." ...

William E. Hurst built the Greek Revival-style home in 1843 on more than 600 acres on Detroit Road at a cost of $643. What was once one of the largest homes on Cleveland's west side remained in the Hurst Family until 1946.

Today, the beams and floorboards continue to hold strong, but not for any one family in particular. The home is awaiting its chance to become Avon's only bed and breakfast, a plan that was started nearly three years ago by builder Ron Larson and the Schafer Development Co., but which remains incomplete.

Avon Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said the city approved Larson's original plans and also gave him a variance to add more rooms or to expand existing rooms in the building ...

"To my understanding, he's still working on it slowly because of the economy," Piazza said. "It's just a matter of him renovating the rooms so he can put it into operation."

For the Top Opportunities List, Heritage Ohio takes into consideration the historic significance, the potential impact for the community and the readiness and availability of community support. The organization encourages communities to view their historic assets as opportunities to create unique local destinations instead of generic contemporary centers of commerce.

According to Avon Mayor Jim Smith, that is what the City hopes to do. "You have to maintain some of your past. Even though we're a fast-growing city and we're building a lot of nice, new stuff, we want to blend into ... the traditional style. To do that, we've got to maintain and save a lot of structures that ... speak of the old Avon." ...''

Contact Jill Simonson at ctnews@chroniclet.com.



``Heritage Ohio was developed as a statewide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and assisting people and organizations to protect and preserve our heritage. Historic preservation and downtown revitalization are vitally important in the movements to protect the buildings, landscapes, art, artifacts and landmarks we have inherited.

Historic preservation and downtown revitalization enrich our quality of life, enhance our neighborhoods and revitalize communities as better places in which to live, work, celebrate and visit!

Heritage Ohio is the Statewide Main Street Coordinating Program in Ohio, as designated by the National Main Street Center.

We are also home to the statewide Heritage Ohio Annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference. Next year the conference will be in Athens, OH ...''

Heritage Ohio

846 1/2 East Main Street

Columbus OH 43205

Phone: 614.258.6200

Fax: 614.258.6400



Top Opportunities

By Dawn Friedman on May 12, 2009

``... Heritage Ohio's Top Ten Opportunities List, new in 2007, is intended to draw attention to buildings that may be under-utilized or await redevelopment. It also seeks to show the public that what may appear as a vacant building today, may be tomorrow's hot spot: offering a location that may provide loft housing, the latest restaurant or retail establishment or a new center of commerce.

Communities should look at their historic assets as opportunities to create individualized local destinations as opposed to the generic America of contemporary strip centers, shopping malls, and office parks.

It's a more positive spin on the ?most endangered? program -- we really want people to look at old buildings with hope, optimism and perseverance!''

The 2009 Top Opportunities List:

The Clifton School in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Holland Theater in Bellefontaine, Ohio

The Trautman Building in Columbus, Ohio

Bell's Opera House in Hillsboro, Ohio

Cleveland's Catholic Churches: St Coleman's and St. Ignatius of Antioch, in Cleveland, and St. James, Lakewood

The Gunning House in Columbus, Ohio

The Sorg Mansion in Middletown, Ohio

Tremont House in Bellevue, Ohio

Stone Eagle Farm in Avon, Ohio

Johnny Clem Birthplace in Newark, Ohio

For more information, see www.stoneeaglefarm.com/i


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

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