Editor’s note: This article is part of a three-part series leading up to Friday’s publication of the Daily Citizen’s Home & Garden Tour Preview. The Champaign County Preservation Alliance’s annual Historic Home & Garden Tour will take place in St. Paris on June 23 and 24.
A bridge is closed on West U.S. Route 36 between Zimmerman and Kite roads through Aug. 10, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The official ODOT detour from the Urbana area to St. Paris is state Route 560 to state Route 29 to state Route 235.
While researching the history of the homes and sites on this year’s upcoming Home and Garden Tour, Rob Pollock found several important connections among the different sites that had been lost to history. This is the first of three installments that will interconnect seven of the 13 sites on the June 23 & 24 tour in St. Paris.
The beautiful Italianate frame house at 322 N. Springfield St. is now known as “The Ivy Inn,” a bed and breakfast. It will be featured on this year’s Home and Garden Tour. Between 1884 and 1909 it was the home of George Kiser, a local banker. His son John Kiser was raised in this home until he left for Chicago to make his fortune in horseshoes and bicycles.
In 1913 John Kiser and his wife Thyrza Furrow returned to St. Paris to build a summer house and a farm. The summer house was called “Garden Glow” and is the magnificent 16-room Neo-Classical Kiser Mansion at 149 E. Main St. in St. Paris, which will be on the Home and Garden Tour.
Mrs. Kiser was a Christian Scientist in faith, and in 1918 she purchased an old buggy factory and had it moved to 127 E. Main St. and converted it into a Christian Science Church next door to her summer house. In 1936 she donated the building to the St. Paris School Board to be used as a library. The Kisers’ church is now the St. Paris Public Library and can be visited on the tour.
“Take the tour and you can enjoy the childhood home, the summer retreat, and the church of a true American business tycoon,” said Pollock.
The Champaign County Preservation Alliance (CCPA) is looking forward to the 26th annual Historic Home and Garden Tour and is excited to be featuring the village of Saint Paris. The tour will be held June 23 & 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the village.
Pre-sale tickets are available at local banks and retailers. A complete list is available on the web site www.ccpaurbanaohio.com
Pre-sale tickets are $12 and tickets tour weekend will be $15 and may be purchased at the Welcome Tent located at the old junior high school, 370 E. Main St., St. Paris. For more information please call 800-791-6010.