For Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — Preserving historic buildings is vital to understanding our nation’s heritage. The post-war building boom was much more future oriented than historically focused. As a result, many times it was deemed more beneficial to demolish and build new than to restore and preserve.
Even structures that were preserved would often end up being significantly altered. This was the case, at least in part, when the home of John Johnston was being restored as part of what we know today as the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency.
The work on the Johnston Home was based on what architects and curators felt would be indicative of a home on the frontier rather than one in upscale Philadelphia, Boston or New York. As a result, even though local contractor thought otherwise, the home was restored in a more simple, rural design.
Beginning in 2016 with exterior and interior paint analysis, as well as the study of other age-contemporary homes in the area, it became clear that Mr. Carpenter had been correct when he stated that much of the interior was original to the home. Also to his credit, he saved and preserved all of the fireplace mantels, much of the woodwork and other interior details.
Those pieces of the Johnston Home have been examined through new eyes and new thought based on 21st century technology and science. As a result, the Johnston Farm Friends Council, along with the Ohio History Connection and the state of Ohio, have begun a Share the Vision project that will return the home of Piqua’s John Johnston to its original glory.
Work is slated to begin in November 2019 transforming the interior to what its builder saw when the home was built. Mantels, woodwork, the main stairway, wallpaper and even carpeting will be part of this important work.
You can learn how you can help recreate the home John Johnston knew when he first walked through the door in August 1815 by contacting the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency at 773-2522 or by visiting www.johnstonfarmohio.com.