PIQUA — Area residents will have a unique opportunity to tour seven historic homes in the Piqua-Caldwell historic area. Among those being featured is the Louis Ostertag House at 324 Caldwell St. owned by Chuck and Shelley Black.
The Dec 9 tour will be held from 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, available at Mainstreet Piqua, Readmore’s Hallmark and the Allisten Manor’s Flower Box. Light refreshments will be provided at each of the homes on tour. The Blacks will be serving wine to visitors at their home.
The tour, said Don Smith, a member of the planning committee, is meant to highlight homes in the district that have particular significance in Piqua’s history. The district, he notes, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses areas in North Main Street, Wayne Street, Downing Street and West Ash Street.
Proceeds from the tour will be earmarked for signage identifying a number of the historic homes to include the name of the original owners and date the house was built.
The two-story frame Ostertag House residence was built in 1906 by Louis and Rose Ostertag. It is described as “Piqua’s version of the national Queen Anne style.” The cut-out corners of the first floor and the attic-level Palladian style window make this home a stylish but relatively simply example of Queen Anne design.
The Ostertag family was very active in affairs and activities of the Anshe Emeth congregation. They helped with the campaign for the first permanent temple that was built south of their home in 1925. Louis and his brother, Bert, operated a men’s clothing store in Piqua from 1895 through 1944. According to their daughter, New York Broadway star and talent agent Barna Ostertag, her father played one of the city’s first phonographs while in the house. She recalls listening to the sounds of classical opera as she was growing up.
Following the Ostertags’ residency, the home had a number of occupants until it was purchased by Donald Yuenger, the district manager of the Social Security Administration in the early 1960s. The family remained in the home for the next 30 years before the Blacks purchased the home in 1995. They have restored the home by replacing all windows, adding a new roof, renovating the attic, adding vinyl siding and original hardwood floors in the living room, dining room and foyer. They have also upgraded the electric wiring and renovated both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.