PIQUA — On Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m., area residents are invited to tour seven historic homes in the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District. Among those being featured is the Samuel Gordon House, located at 333 W. Greene St. The present homeowners are Don and Sue Smith.
Smith, who serves on the tour committee, said the event is being organized to highlight homes within the district that have particular significance to Piqua’s rich history. The district, he noted, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses areas on North Main Street, Wayne Street, Downing Street and West Ash Street.
Tickets for the tour are $20 per person, available at Mainstreet Piqua, Readmore’s Hallmark and the Allisten Manor’s Flower Box. Proceeds from the tour will be earmarked for signs identifying a number of the historic homes to include the name of the original owner and date the house was built.
Light refreshments will be provided at each of the homes on tour. The Smiths’ offering will be sugared plums.
The Samuel Gordon House originated when Gordon, a local merchant, ordered construction of a Chaste Greek Revival-style two-story, five-bay home in 1843. In 1879, George Yeager, a horse trader/merchant, purchased the property and made extensive modifications and additions. In 1913, the roof was transformed into a California Mission style.
In 1916 J.F. Philippi, a well-known local merchant of leather goods and Kodak products, resided in the home until the 1930s. George A. Flesh, son of Piqua industrialist/bank president L.M. Flesh, later lived in the home until it was sold to Dr. and Mrs. William Weis. Weis was a prominent local physician and his wife, Miriam Thedieck Weis, was socially prominent in the Piqua community.
Mrs. Weis made extensive renovations to the house including additional space, transforming the home into a more modern-day dwelling with a master suite to include a dressing room, sitting room and sleep room, a family room, and large, well-appointed garage. Other changes to accommodate the day-to-day operations of the household included internal telephones and maid call buttons. Dr. and Mrs. Weis enjoyed formal gatherings in their home. Dr. Weis had a special affinity for the number “333,” prompting Mrs. Weis to petition the city to change their address from 323 to 333 W. Greene St.
Upon Mrs. Weis’ death (her husband preceded her in death) the house was willed to Archbishop of Cincinnati Daniel Pilarzyk. The property was then sold to local Realtor Shirley Black in 1991. She later sold the home to Meredith and Ruth Schaffer who, in turn, sold the home to Don and Sue Smith in December 2014.
The Smiths were owners of Alliston Manor, a popular restaurant, for 30 years and also operated Smith Catering, Trains Restaurant in Troy and, at present, the Allisten Manor Flower Box. Don Smith has also been a teacher throughout his career.
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