PIQUA — Local and area residents are invited to participate in a tour of seven historic homes in the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District on Saturday, Dec. 9. Among those being highlighted is the Francis Morrow House, located at 400 Caldwell St. The current owners are Lori Hedberg and Laura Schwein.
The tour is designed to highlight homes within the district which have particular significance in Piqua’s history, according to committee member Don Smith. The district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and encompasses areas on North Main Street, Wayne Street, Downing Street and West Ash Street.
Proceeds from the tour will be used to purchase signage identifying a number of the historic homes to include the name of the original owner and date the house was built.
The tour will be held from 5-8 p.m. with tickets at $20 per person now 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. Visitors at the Francis Morrow House will be served hot buttered rum.
This 5,296-square-foot Greek Revival home was built by Francis Morrow in 1851. Morrow was a prominent dry goods merchant and treasurer for the city of Piqua from 1856 to 1874. He was the brother-in-law of prominent Piqua citizen William Scott, and married to Mercy Winner. The couple, who had four children, resided in the home until 1874.
Other prominent Piqua families who called 400 Caldwell St. home included William C. Gray and his wife, Katherine. Gray ran the F. Gray Company after his father, Francis Gray, died. The F. Gray Company was based in Piqua and manufactured papermakers’ felts, jackets, flannels and yarns. Parker Snorf, M.D. and his wife, Jennie, lived in the home from 1901 to 1955. The carriage house potion of the home was used as Dr. Snorf’s office where he saw patients and reportedly performed his surgeries.
The carriage house in back was built in 1852. The front addition to the home, which features more Victorian characteristics, was built in the early 1870s. During the 1890s, the front porch was added by the Gray family. When looking toward the front of the house, a Palladian window can be seen in the gable. This design element is was uncommon for a home of this time period.
Other original features that still exist in the home include the stained glass windows, woodwork and floors. The Lincrusta in the vestibule, foyer and staircase is also original to the home and the vestibule also features the original tile work.
The dining room fireplace is accented with tiles by John Moyr Smith. The design series (1877-1878) is based on the “Waverly Novels” by Sir Walter Scott. The carriage house features a Mansard roof which was considered cutting-edge design during that time period.
The present owners said they enjoy “caring for and restoring this magnificent home and appreciate the rich history it offers.”