315 East Front Street
The J.M. Hall House
Supporting the preservation and appreciation of Perrysburg's historic architectural heritage
The J.M. Hall House:
It's many people's favorite Victorian home in Perrysburg, has looked out from 315 East Front Street for over 150 years now, and it was built by James M. Hall.
Local records don't reveal a great deal about early pioneer James Manning Hall, other than he was a member of the Presbyterian Church and active in the Masonic lodge. The Brattleboro Vermont Phoenix newspaper of March 4, 1847 has this notice of his untimely death: "In Perrysburgh, Ohio, on the 8th ult. Mr. James Manning Hall, formerly of Brattleboro, Vermont, and son of Hon. Jarius Hall, aged 38 years."
315 East Front Street
He lived here as early as 1836 and bought the property on which he was to build this house in 1843. It is believed that the house was erected around 1850, one of four he is said to have built here.
This is a showcase example of Italianate architecture in Northwest Ohio, and like so many of our old homes, it has been excellently preserved. One notable feature is the wide friezeboard with the three windows covered by ornamental metal fretwork, and the paired brackets met by connecting bed molding. There is a truncated hip roof with iron cresting and tall, shuttered windows, speaking of which, some original windows on the west have been bricked in. A main chimney near the southwest corner of the house has extensive brick corbelling and a cut-out center with twin vents. The semi-circular portico overhang, added in the 1930s, has full Ionic entablature with fluted Doric columns. Two-story bays on the east and west sides (also additions) have carved stone lintels. An ocular window above an added multi-paned picture window on the west side is original. Sidelights flank a single entrance door with an etched glass transom.
James Hall operated a dry goods and grocery store and at one time also sold fire insurance. He was Perrysburg's postmaster in 1842, a village councilman in 1857 and secretary of the Hydraulic Canal Company that powered local manufacturing firms of the era.
He was a Presbyterian, charter member of Phoenix Lodge, F. & A. M. and one of the contributors toward a $15,000 bond providing for the construction of a county courthouse (later the now razed Town Hall) in hopes that the county seat would be returned here from Bowling Green.