PIQUA — A tour of six homes in historic downtown Piqua, open for self-guided tours, will be from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, once again sponsored by the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association (PCHDA).
Two of the featured homes will be the Dr. Robert M. Shannon House at 525 Caldwell St., as well as the Abraham Louis House located at 621 Caldwell St.
Dr. Shannon contracted Harvey H. Hiestand to build his dream colonial revival home situated on the corner of Caldwell and North streets. The home was completed in 1915 for Dr. Shannon and his wife Marie.
The Shannon House boasts 3032 square feet of livable space, but not included in the footage is a newly renovated basement finished in 2012 and a full attic. The colonial revival may show off its beautiful red brick on the outside, but the features on the inside are just as stunning. Walking on the original, ornate hard wood floors make its feel like you’re taking a step back in time. A captivating fireplace sits in the spacious living room with double French doors leading to a sun porch with exposed brick. In the elegant dining room hangs a nickel plated chandelier that complements the built in china cabinet with curved glass doors. The kitchen features some unique red glass tiled walls, metal cabinets, and a 1953 Chambers gas oven. There are five spacious bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms throughout the home.
In the 104 years the home has stood, it has only had a total of seven owners. The current owners, Greg and Mia Campbell, said they instantly fell in love with the home upon first sight.
The Abraham Louis House is located at 621 Caldwell St. “Abe” commissioned Airhart M. Fry to build this home in 1908. The home was completed on Feb. 9, 1909, and Airhart Fry’s signature can be seen on the south living room wall above the fireplace and under turquoise paint.
This home features beveled leaded glass windows, plate glass windows and the downstairs hallway chandelier is from the original home at 500 N. Wayne St. that was built in 1847. There is an upstairs enclosed back porch that Abe added later to help with his wife’s failing health.
The original deed for this property was dated March 2, 1885, from Marion O. Proctor to Martha M. Proctor. It was then sold by Martha M. and Thomas J. Proctor to Abe Louis for $3,100 on June 17, 1908. The house was remodeled into a two-family configuration in 1940 but converted back to a single-family dwelling in 1960.
Abe worked in sales for Atlas Underwear and opened their New York office in the Empire State Building. His brother, Leo Louis, owned what was then thought of as a new concept — a self-serve grocery known as Piggly Wiggly. Abe transferred ownership of the home to his brother Leo and his wife Blanche on Aug. 22, 1910, when they had three children: Clara R., Leo, Jr., and Margery.
Tickets to view these homes and four others are available at Allisten Manor’s Flower Box, Mainstreet Piqua, and Readmore’s Hallmark in Piqua. Cost is $25 per person, and credit card transactions should be made at Mainstreet Piqua, 326 N. Main St., Piqua.
Shelley and Chuck Black, co-chairs of marketing and advertising, suggest tickets should be purchased early since only 300 are available, and in 2017 and 2018 tour tickets sold out several weeks prior to the tour.
Proceeds of this tour are earmarked for signage identifying historic homes within the district, and the association’s long term goal is to place historic signs at the perimeter of the district to help accentuate the significance of these historic properties within the city of Piqua.
For more information, please contact the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association at P.O. Box 212, Piqua, OH 45356.