Flat Stanley here, got your orange crayon? Hope so, follow me please. There are lots of historical place (old places) for you and I to explore together; but this spot is really old. It's been given 3 distinctions. See the round symbol at the top, it tells us This is an Heritage Site for the town of Worthington. I'm pointing to a plaque that says this building has the honor to be listed on The National Register of Historic Places. AND
this plaque tell us it's also honored with an Ohio Historical Marker Plaque! WOW, it hit the jackpot. This building is an old old house. It was once owned by a man named Orange Johnson. See why I wanted you to bring your orange crayon today? Anyway, this house was built way way back in 1811 by Arora Buttles. Hope someone is writing this down so you can determine how old it is by doing some math. (199 years old!). It was purchased by our friend, Orange Johnson in 1816. Orange and his family lived in this house for 45 years. When Orange first came to the village of Worthington he had $16.50. That probably doesn't sound like a lot money to you; but back then it was quite alot. He was 24 years old at the time and was a hornsmith. Do you know what a hornsmith is? I thought it was a funny word so I looked it up and this is what I found: Hornsmith-used animal horn, softened it, flattened it into sheets, clarified it and made tortoise shell combs, buttons, hornbooks. So, our friend Orange made combs and got rich doing it. He sold his combs to lots of people, but specifically 2 brothers from Urbana; The Neil Brothers.
He married Achsa, the daughter of a prominate business man and owner of Worthington Manufacturing Company. He had important contacts in the banking business, political circles, and the lucretive railroad industries. He was invited to Washington for The Presidentail Inauguration of William Henry Harrison. Though he was listed as a farmer in the 1850 census, he was far more then that. He was quite wealthy and involved in banking, railroads, real estate and more. The house changed hands several times and remained vacant and forgotten for a period of time. In fact it was vine covered, abandoned, in a deteriorating state, and thought to be haunted by locals when I first saw this house. Located at 956 North High Street in Worthington next to a frequently visited Dairy Queen it was a house my Mother always wanted to see.
After years of neglect it was purchased by The Worthington Historical Society and restoration began. The house is now opened to the public as a museum that houses 19th century furnishings and a time line of Worthington's developement from being a small pioneer village to it's current day status; as well as it's pre-village history when Native Americans were in abundance.
This beautiful Wisteria is pruned now; but back when the house was vine covered, I believe this is part of what covered it. It spread clear across an arbor in the back. Orange was listed as age 60 in the 1850 census, so was born about 1790 in Connecticut.
Hope you enjoyed meeting my friend Orange. Here's some suggested activities for the kids:
Color an picture using only the orange crayon
Do math using the dates Orange was born, when the house was built, when Orange and his family moved in and 45 (the number of years they lived there).
Find Worthington on the map
Look around your neighborhood and see if you have a neighbor with a Wisteria bush
Make a word puzzle using words from the post
Make your own historical marker....how old is your house?.
See you next week on Friday the 20th. Flat Stanley out.
Previous Fun Friday's with Flat Stanley:
- April 23, 2010 Books and Parks (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
- April 30, 2010 Traitor or Hero (Worthington, Ohio)
- May 7, 2010 Flat Stanley and his friend Captain Pinney (Worthington, Ohio)
- May 14, 2010 First Flight and Flat Stanley (Worthington, Ohio)
- May 21, 2010 Up The Indian Mound with Flat Stanley (Columbus, Ohio)
- May 28, 2010 Flat Stanley goes to Camp (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
- May 31, 2010 Honoring Those who Served on Memorial Day (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
- June 12, 2010 Signs and Flat Stanley, (Worthington, Ohio)
- June 18, 2010 Breathe Easy with Flat Stanley (Columbus, Ohio)
- June 25, 2010 Stanley at The Masonic Museum (Worthington, Ohio)
- July 2, 2010 Special 4th of July with Flat Stanley (Worthington, Ohio)
- July 9, 2010 Free Seats Available, (Worthington, Ohio)
- July 16, 2010 Corn on The Cob and Flat Stanley (Dublin, Ohio)
- July 30, 2010 Bill Moose Crowfoot and Flat Stanley (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
- August 6, 2010 Chief Leatherlips (Dublin, Ohio)