246 West Second Street

The Parks House

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The Parks House:

 

Another of Perrysburg's classically proportioned and well- maintained Greek Revival houses has stood on the corner at 246 West Second Street since about 1847. It was built by James J. Parks who came here as a shoe and harness maker and ended as a prosperous and well- known businessman.

The house, with front-gabled roof and exterior chimney on the west side, is a good example of the so-called upright end wing. Pilasters at the facade corners balance the gable pediment with its plain entablature (decorative work between the edge of the roof and the supporting wall). The off-center front entrance has a matching pediment with a miniature entablature and Doric-capped pilasters.

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246 West Second Street

A 10-pane transom and 4-pane sidelights surround the door. A one-story and a half-story wing in the rear with frieze windows on the east and west sides might also be original construction.

The house has retained its original character throughout the years and was restored by its owner in 1938, under the supervision of local architect Donald Buckhout.

James J. Parks was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1814. As mentioned, he began here as a shoe and harness maker before joining Michael Hayes (one of three Irish brothers who later owned and preserved the site of Fort Meigs) in taking contracts on constructing the Miami and Erie Canal across the river, and in building plank roads through the Black Swamp. Later he was superintendent of the Maumee and Western Reserve Road (now U.S. Route 20) and lived on a farm near here. Other sources say that he also at one time operated a sawmill near the foot of Locust Street and supplied oak lumber for the shipbuilding industry in the 1850s.

Mr. Parks was well known in the community, having served as township justice of the peace, treasurer and assessor, and village councilman. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Walnut Street Presbyterian Church. 

He retired and lived in Toledo where he died in 1885, at the age of 71. He is buried in Fort Meigs Union Cemetery.

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