401 West Front Street
The Comstock House
Supporting the preservation and appreciation of Perrysburg's historic architectural heritage
The Comstock House:
Over the years, the lots and home at 401 West Front Street have been owned by some of Perrysburg's most prominent citizens. The two lots themselves were laid out in 1825 and early owners of either one or both included Thomas R. McKnight, first postmaster and one of the very first residents here; Benjamin F. Hollister, who with his brother John had a general store at Orleans and later here; Gilbert Beach, early retailer; Aurora Spafford, son of Amos Spafford who named our city; and Jessup W. Scott, co-owner and editor of the first newspaper here and later editor of the Toledo Blade and a prominent Toledoan.
401 West Front Street
In 1892 William and Mary Comstock acquired the property and in 1895, built the home shown here. It is one of the first examples of the Shingle architectural style in the entire area.
William Comstock was born on a farm in Plain Township west of Bowling Green in 1853. He first taught school and farmed, then became a successful traveling salesman, selling caskets throughout a large part of the country.
In 1903 he and Dr. Isaac Bowers bought the Champney Drug Store, but after the building was destroyed by fire they re-opened in the Phoenix Building where Mills Hardware is now located. In 1905, Mr. Comstock bought out his partner and then four years later, sold the drug store back to C. P. Champney who moved it back to the southwest corner of Louisiana and Front ("drug store corner").
The Comstock house features an irregular roofline, gables, turrets and prominent bay windows, typical of the Queen Anne style from which the Shingle style derived. In the southeast corner is a shingled two-story round tower with a conical roof. The southwest corner features an oriel window in a recessed arch over a set of multi-paned windows braced by Ionic pilasters. Between the two corners of the house and on the east side, are ogee- arched dormers.
The architecture of the home is reminiscent of the "summer cottages" of Newport, Rhode Island.