AVON — The city is looking into purchasing the Cahoon house on Stoney Ridge Road following a presentation to City Council on Monday night.
Sheri Seroka, City of Avon Business Development Consultant, presented a brief history of the Cahoon house, built in 1825, and the possible uses for its many rooms if the city were to purchase the property.
“Fifteen years I’ve been driving by this beautiful house and until I started this project, I had no idea the historical significance of this house to Avon,” she said.
According to Seroka, Wilbur Cahoon and his family came to the area from New York in 1814. Settling on the banks of French Creek, and following the prosperity of his mills, he eventually built the Greek Revival-style farmhouse at 2940 Stoney Ridge Road. Built on an acre of land, the house has 12 rooms and remains “virtually unchanged,” other than some upgrades made in the 1950s, since its construction almost 200 years ago.
“We all know Avon’s growing at an exciting pace, as a resident I couldn’t be more excited every day to get up and see what’s coming up out of the ground,” she said. “It’s what puts us on the map as one of the fastest-growing communities in the state. But I think at the same time it’s equally as important for us to recognize the preservation of our history for us to never forget where we came from. I think it brings both value and meaning to the community to preserve our history and share the legacy of the Cahoon family and all those that came after (them) as caretakers of that house and help build the story of Avon as we know it today.”
Her presentation highlighted the house’s formal dining room, ample backyard and other amenities, which Seroka said could be used for bridal and baby showers and business meetings, similar to how the city handles Avon Isle.
Mayor Bryan Jensen agreed.
“I think overall, if we can do this, I think it would be something great for the community,” Jensen said. “Everybody would like to see us control what happens in the growth of the city. We certainly try to do our very best, but we can’t take someone that’s got a big farm piece of property that wants to sell it to a developer and build houses and unfortunately I think it’s their right to sell that piece of property … but I think what we can do is give back to the community in other ways and one of the ways is this house.”
According to the Lorain County Auditor, the property — currently entrusted to Jean Fischer — is valued at roughly $181,850. The house was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation registry in 1978.
If the city chose to purchase the property, Seroka said Fischer was willing to donate the original deed along with other historic artifacts to the city.
Council President Craig Whitherspoon said the presentation was the first step in the city looking to buy the house, and the house would have to be appraised before a final decision could be made.
Jensen said appropriations for the property could come out of the parks fund, and the city would look to other federal and state grants to fund any major restorations.
“Historic buildings, they’re the brick and mortar of our past,” Seroka said, “as are the families that built them. Without preserving this history, I fear we erase the stories that shaped us.”