508 West Front Street

The Maddy House

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The Maddy House:

 

This rambling 12- room frame house overlooking the river at 508 West Front is worth a careful walk by -- if for no other reason than just to count the windows...there are a total of 55!

It is a delightfully Victorian Queen Anne structure, with most of that style's identifying features: steeply pitched roof of irregular shape, gables, bay windows, asymmetrical facade and full-width porch.

It was built in about 1895 by John C. Maddy, who with his family, previously lived on the same property in a house they tore down.

house

508 West Front Street

This property was once owned by some of Perrysburg's most notable citizens--Thomas McKnight, Thomas W. Powell and Jonathan Perrin.

The distinctive porch with balustrade is supported by Doric columns that are half fluted and turned, with paneled bases. The main entrance is on the east corner under a pediment with decorative molding. Tiny brackets are beneath all the eaves and a cornice-like molding separates the first and second floors. The facade features a very small single-sash window with dentils and brackets above them. Another major gable sits on a flared hip roof and under that gable are two windows. A family room addition has been made at the rear. Otherwise, the house is the original version.

For the inquisitive, there are 10 windows in the front, 15 on the west, 17 on the east side and 13 on the back -- truly a window washer's nightmare, and this does not even count the door glass and several transoms.

John Maddy was born in Moscow, Ohio, a small  Ohio River town southeast of Cincinnati, in 1862. He came to Toledo in 1881 and started a successful career as a grain dealer with Churchill, Bennett & Company. In 1890, the Perrysburg Grain and Seed elevator, located in the first block of East Third Street along the railroad, was leased by the Toledo firm, and Mr. Maddy directed operations, assisted by his brother, Charles L. Maddy. A year later he left for a short time to become a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, but returned to become a prominent member of the Toledo Produce Exchange and manager of the Churchill company's Toledo area elevators. It was at about this time that he settled in Perrysburg and built his house.

It should be noted that in 1892 the Perrysburg elevator burned down and for a few hours during the high wind then blowing, downtown Perrysburg was seriously threatened with destruction. The elevator was immediately rebuilt.

This story itself ends in disaster. In 1897, at age 35, John C. Maddy was instantly killed while directing operations at a new elevator he was building in East Toledo. A heavy weight used in elevating grain fell and crashed through the roof of a shed in which he was standing. He was a member of the Methodist church and several fraternal organizations, and reportedly was a fine and active singer. The house remained in the family for another 45 years until being sold upon the death of his daughter, Mrs. Rosalie Zachman in 1973.

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