This is dedicated to all lovers of history and my dad, Dale Sease, who didn’t get to see the entire process fulfilled.
This story is about the two story log house on my parent’s property, owners the late Dale Sease and Betty Sease. Address is 1724 Karr Road in Monroe Township, Darke County, Ohio.
My dad was proud of his “log house” in which he had a small shop in the addition part where he repaired many things and made over 100 bird houses at one time. In here was located his tools and an old wood stove. I was always fascinated by the winding staircase which was in the second room and led upstairs to the three rooms. I thought about the people who lived here and what life was like…what they did, their families, how they survived and made a living.
When we discovered the leaking roof and that the floor was leaning as well as the corner we realized something needed to be done. Not knowing about such things led us on a journey to figure out what to do. Fixing the roof was one thing but the damage was already done and the SW corner logs were rotten. It’s not as simple as fixing a frame building or wall. We had many people look at it to get ideas and suggestions. Including people with log homes themselves and preservation people. It comes down to the bottom line of time, money, hard work, experience and know how as well as the desire and ability. Being a history lover myself this was a hard one for me but I know I didn’t process many of these needed skills and at that time we didn’t really know anyone who had the skills. We had several people interested and said they would take the house but it fell through for several reasons. I guess the house was just waiting for the right person to come along who could put it all together and share the vision.
I knew Karen Shellenbarger from being a neighbor and was visiting in her antique shop one winter and casually asked her if they might be interested. We had talked about all the log properties around us in the area so I figured she had interest as well as knowing people in the historical field who might be able to help and her husband was already into construction. Well, they looked at the property and thus began the account of her finding the right people to help restore and rebuild the old house and give it new life. Karen found Dennis Parman from IN who did this sort of thing of rebuilding and repurposing the old into the possible such as houses and businesses.
In the meantime, about a month before it came down, the west wall came down and the ceiling above came down into the room. This made it more dangerous and we knew it had to come down soon.
Work began July 12 with Rob taking off the old white siding outside. On examining the logs on south end the name “Noah mon” was found. In looking at past deed history we find Noah Fryman purchased the property in 1857. We are wondering if this was the name we found. Prior to this several years earlier Rex and AJ had taken off the inside plaster to reveal the logs. That is when we seen how far the damage was. Everything inside was off except the ceilings and that was left to help keep the logs in place.
Back to July 12: after the white siding was off, there was poplar siding to take off as well as windows to take out and doors to take off.
On July 21 Dennis came to tag the logs so they can be put back together and he would know where they all went. In talking to him about the house he mentioned he thought it was late 1840’s to 1850’s and that was probably heated by stove since they saw markings in the upstairs of a pipe and there was no fireplace. It was an original two story and not added on to at that time; however at some point there was an addition on the north end. Also that the logs probably came from a saw mill either on property or close by since wood and trees were widely available and this was the custom back then.
On July 21 Rob cut the roof and began taking that down as well as the lean to. The top logs were tedious as care must be given so the entire wall didn’t collapse or the logs were broke. On July 22 the walls came down log by log. It is a slow process to avoid damaging the logs as well as the walls caving in. In speaking with Karen she mentioned that the owners could have been Quaker and the reason for the two doors if they used as also house of worship for their church. Karen and Rob’s desire is to reuse the old logs for an addition on their property or a piece of land. And if not Dennis would like to have as he uses these logs for his business of rebuilding and repurposing.
Our next blog will be the story of the farm’s owners and history of the Fryman family. Stay turned!