ELYRIA TWP. — The childhood home of a late local historian was demolished Tuesday.
The West Ridge Road home just south of Fowl Road, is where Col. Raymond Vietzen was born in 1907.
Vietzen, an archaeologist, anthropologist, artist and auto mechanic, later built a home on the corner of West Ridge and Fowl roads, next door to his childhood home, where he started the Indian Ridge Museum in 1930.
According to local historian Matt Nahorn, John Vietzen and his wife, Friederika, came to the United States from Germany in 1868 when their son, Frederick Vietzen, Raymond’s father, was about 4 years old.
Frederick Vietzen married Elise Von Zimmerman, and the couple settled in the area now known as West Ridge Road about 1890. They built the home, which was demolished Tuesday.
“It was certainly one of the oldest houses on West Ridge Road,” Nahorn said.
The couple had eight children, one of whom was Raymond, the seventh of eight children.
Raymond and his wife, Ruth, ran their museum for 35 years until Raymond’s death in 1995. The museum closed after his death, and Raymond’s home was demolished in 2000, a year after Ruth’s death.
Raymond, who also authored 17 books and painted several hundred paintings, filled the Indian Ridge Museum with numerous prehistoric artifacts. It also housed a collection of antique guns, the coat Gen. George Custer died in, and several log structures from the area were on the museum grounds.
Nahorn, who is collecting artifacts for his New Indian Ridge Museum, said that unfortunately much of what was in the original museum was sold off and scattered.
“Everything was sold at auction,” Nahorn said. “I’ve been trying to re-collect as many things as possible that were in the original museum.”
Nahorn shows his collection to those who contact him through his website.
Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski.