Stark11: 11 Historic Homes in Massillon
Jan 18, 2021
These 11 historic homes in Massillon, tell the story of architecture and a community through pictures and history! Want to learn more? Visit Spring Hill Historic Home, take a Fourth Street Tour, or go on a walking tour or the Massillon Cemetery.
Historic Fourth Street in Northeast Massillon is lined with residences respresenting architectural styles spanning an entire century, 1830 to 1938. The seven listed below join many others along the brick street that formed Massillon’s most prestigious homes in decades past. Downtown walking tours will be scheduled later this summer.
1. Five Oaks (210 Fourth Street, N.E.)
Located on historic Fourth Street, the gem of Massillon’s architecture -- Five Oaks -- was designed by Cleveland architect Charles F. Schweinfurth, for industrialist J. Walter McClymonds and his wife Flora. Completed in 1894, it took master craftsmen two years and more than $200,000 to construct. The stone Richardson Romanesque mansion features Tiffany windows and lighting fixtures, intricately carved woodwork, a billiards room of Moroccan leather, and lovely exterior Corinthian columns and stone sculptures. In 1924, it became the home of Massillon Woman’s Club. Five Oaks is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check five-oaks.org for a summer tour schedule or massillonwomansclub.weebly.com for a holiday schedule of public events.
2. Thomas H. Russell House (107 Fourth Street, N.E.)
Built in 1882, this large Eastlake residence on historic Fourth Street has undergone minimal aesthetic alterations since it was built for steam engine manufacturer Thomas H. Russell and his wife Ellen. The carriage house is enchanting as the mansion.
3. The Nahum and Esther Russell House (120 Fourth Street, N.E.)
Better known as the Library Apartments, the Italianate home of the first president of Russell & Co.—Massillon’s most important factory in the late 1800s—was built about 1860. After the death of their parents, Annie Russell McClymonds and Flora Russell McClymonds gave their family home to become Massillon’s first public library. It opened in 1899 and remained in this residence until 1937, when the library moved to the James Duncan home downtown. The Russell home is now an apartment building.
4. The Lillian Gish House (315 Fourth Street, N.E.)
The tiniest house on historic Fourth Street dates to the 1840s. Its most famous owners were the Gish sisters, actresses who sometimes summered in Massillon. The girls and their mother were all stage actresses in the early 19th century. When one of the little girls did not have a gig, she would be sent to Massillon to stay with their Aunt Emily, for whom Dorothy purchased the house in the mid-1950s. She and Lillian visited there occasionally. Dorothy’s will passed the house on to Lillian in 1968. It continues to be a private residence.
5. The Hiram Wellman Home (414 Fourth Street, N.E.)
One of the earliest houses on historic Fourth Street, the Hiram Wellman residence was started about 1830, intended to reflect the architecture of Mount Vernon, but the financial panic of 1837 caused it to be completed more modestly. Wellman, with his brother Marshall, built a warehouse along the Ohio and Erie Canal in the late 1820s, offering cash for wheat. Because of their entrepreneurship, Massillon was known as “The Wheat City” until the arrival of the railroad in 1852. The next resident, David K. Cartter, is remembered as the orator who turned the tide toward Abraham Lincoln during the 1860 Republican convention. Presidents McKinley and Garfield both visited this home, which remains a single-family private residence.
6. The Atwater House (220/222 Fourth Street, N.E.)
Also one of the oldest homes in Massillon’s National Register District, the Atwater house, is actually two side-by-side homes divided by a brick wall. Twins, Joshua and David Atwater, purchased and operated the Wellman warehouse when those brothers left town. Henry Yesler, one of the pioneer industrialists and politicians of Seattle in the mid-1850s, designed and built the Atwater edifice. Both sides of this massive building have been divided into apartments.
7. The James and Amelia Pocock House (308 Fourth Street, N.E.)
Both sides of the Pococks’ family were Massillon coal mine moguls. They built their Fourth Street home by 1875, but during the last decade of the century, they hired architect Charles F. Schweinfurth to enhance it. Abundant cherubs and Biblical inscriptions appeared in the stunning woodwork; four bay windows, a three-story corner tower, a double front portico, and a port-cochere were added. President and Mrs. McKinley danced in the cherry-paneled third-floor ballroom. The home remains in private hands.
8. Massillon Cemetery Superintendent’s Residence
Massillon Cemetery, founded in 1846, is the final resting place of nearly 25,000 souls. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Massillon Cemetery superintendent’s residence was constructed in 1879 of locally quarried stone. It served for a century as both the sexton’s family residence and the cemetery office; now only the office.
9. James Duncan Home (208 Lincoln Way East)
Massillon Public LIbrary’s local history (south) wing was originally the 1835 home of Massillon’s founder James Duncan, who faced his Federal style brick home to the west so he could overlook his town and the canal that made it blossom. A century later, the center Neoclassical rotunda and the reflecting wing were added and the building opened with the Massillon Museum in the Duncan House and Massillon Public Library in the new sections. The Museum moved to its current location, 121 Lincoln Way East, in 1995/1996, and the Library now occupies the entire edifice.
10. The Bahney House (316 Lincoln Way East)
The Second Empire style residence best remembered as the home of the E.F. Bahney family is now a destination antiques and collectibles emporium: Becky’s Obsession Antiques. In the interim, the building housed the Massillon Automobile Club and the Ohio Society of Military Society. Mr. Bahney operated a bookstore in downtown Massillon from 1894 to 1926. Find the antique shop at facebook.com/beckycasperlincolnway.
11. Spring Hill Historic Home (1401 Spring Hill Lane, N.E.)
Spring Hill Historic Home, constructed in 1821, was the home of Thomas and Charity Rotch, founders of the village of Kendal, which is now part of Northeast Massillon. The rural home was a stop on the Underground Railroad, reflecting the Quaker beliefs of its residents. Three generations of the Wales family succeeded the Rotches until 1973, when the residence opened to the public as a historic site. It was Massillon’s first National Register site and has been named to the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Find more information at springhillhistorichome.org or call 330.833.6749.
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Spring Hill Historic Home
1401 Spring Hill Lane NE Massillon, Ohio 44646 (330) 833-6749 Website
Spring Hill Historic Home1401 Spring Hill Lane NE
Massillon, Ohio 44646
Five Oaks Historic Home — Massillon Woman’s Club
210 Fourth St. NE Massillon, Ohio 44646 (330) 833-4896 Website
Five Oaks Historic Home - Massillon Woman's Club210 Fourth St. NE
Massillon, Ohio 44646