10302 Fremont Pike

The Simmons House

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The Simmons House:

 

The Edwin H. Simmons house is at 10302 Fremont Pike. It is the only Perrysburg Township building on the National Register of Historic Places other than the East River Road estates which were included in 1976 as a separate entire Historic District.

Edwin Simmons was born in Monroeville, Ohio, in 1855. He came here in 1863 with his parents, the Robert Simmonses, who settled on a swampy section of land along what is now Simmons Road, which was named for them. The original family homestead is a half-mile or so north of the Pike.

Robert Simmons left each of his four children some 60 acres of land..."Too big to play on and too small to make a living on," as on of them quipped. Edwin, the oldest, built this house on the corner of this land in 1887 during the period when drainage tiles and deep ditches were successfully draining the Black Swamp.

The house is a balloon frame two-story gabled-ell vernacular structure with ornaments emulating popular architectural styles of its time. The porch, for instance, is supported by "table-leg" posts, and the scrolled brackets and lintels contain incised decorative motifs that evidence the delicate line associated with Charles Eastlake.

house

10302 Fremont Pike

porch

Porch Scrollwork

A distinctive feature of the house is the funeral door located at the left side of the porch. Prior to World War II most funerals were held at home with the deceased laid out in the parlor. The side door to the parlor made it possible for a coffin to be removed horizontally from the house.

Edwin Simmons was a successful farmer and businessman and was a township trustee for several years. He died at age 67 in 1922, and his granddaughter, Miss Mary Cranker, lives in the house. Miss Cranker, who also stems from another pioneer family, was born on the corner of Fremont Pike and Thompson Road in what was once one of the many taverns that lined the highway originally called the Maumee and Western Reserve Road.

Miss Cranker, who spent most of her life in Perrysburg and has seen many old homes here and in the vicinity of her present home lost to "progress," fought stubbornly to get the house on the National Register. She enlisted the help of Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery and the Ohio Historical Society and proudly shows a framed citation signed by Miss Montgomery and the president of the Ohio Senate that praises her efforts. It commends her for preserving a farmhouse that has "earned a place in the Register because of its integrity of architecture and for the area's early homesteading activities which it represents."

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