333 East Front Street

The Henry E. Averill House

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Supporting the preservation and appreciation of Perrysburg's historic architectural heritage

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The Henry E. Averill House:

 

The "Gothic Cottage" style house (actually, a Hudson River Mode Gothic Revival) at 333 East Front Street is a favorite of many who drive or walk past it. It was built in 1873 for Henry E. Averill by his father Henry P. who also built and lived in the house next door to it on the corner of Front and Maple Streets.

The Averill family was originally associated with the riverfront business of Peck and Averill Flour Mill at the foot of Louisiana. Henry E. was born in 1839 and came here from Connecticut with his parents in 1844. He was one of the early students here and completed his education at Illinois College in Jacksonville.

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333 East Front Street

He then began studying law under an eminent New England lawyer and later under a Cleveland judge where he was admitted to the bar.

Although he practiced law many years in Toledo, Mr. Averill also followed other pursuits in which he attained considerable success. He was the assistant to the Attorney General of Ohio and also served in the office of the Adjutant General. For a number of years he was associated with his father-in-law, Frederick Dodge, in construction of railroads in Ohio and Illinois, after which he was auditor of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. He was also, up to the time of his death, one of the auditors of Standard Oil Company. During the Civil War he was commissioned Quartermaster of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry stationed at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. His regiment was detailed for special duty in the protection of the telegraph stations between Fort Kearney and South Pass and on the line of the stagecoach.

The house, designed by architect Isaac Hobbs & Son of New York, has two shingled gable roofs, with two small dormers facing west and south. There are interesting and typical curvilinear vergeboards in the gables, varying size windows and one large double window covered with a decorative canopy and drip molding. This fanciful ornamentation was partly the result of the then newly perfected scroll saw. There is a double entrance with a transom and decorative brackets on each of three columns of the porch. A wrought iron fence runs across the front of the property.

Upon its completion in 1873, the local Perrysburg newspaper commented that the house possessed all the modern conveniences: gas lighting, speaking tubes, indoor plumbing with water closets, and the most modern heating apparatus. The Averill family lived in the house his father built for him (believed to be a wedding present) until 1880 when their children took over. It is noteworthy that it remained in the ownership of the Averill family until 1957.

Henry E. Averill died at the age of 53 in 1892.

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