The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 20, 2013

Jefferson Depot Village gets 15th building for restoration

JEFFERSON — Sitting tucked away behind the trees, just like it’s always been there, is the newest addition to the quaint village, reminiscent of the early life in the 1800s.

Jefferson Depot Village recently acquired its 15th building, which was moved to the grounds Wednesday. The building, an 1870s carriage house that was located at 25 E. Ashtabula St., was donated by Eric Westfall, said Jean Dutton, president of the depot committee.

The 1864 Lenox Cornet bandwagon, that was donated to the depot last year by Lenox Township trustees, will be housed in the carriage house.

“In order to have a place to put (the bandwagon), we had to move another building,” she said. “So we drove around looking for a building and saw this one. We talked to Eric and he donated it to us.”

Three utility companies had to be present Wednesday to make the move possible. The Illuminating Co., Windstream, and Time Warner Cable worked together to raise or drop power, telephone and cable lines so the building could pass through. The committee also had to get permission from Western Reserve Co-op, to come through its property. The building was moved by a tractor from its former East Ashtabula Street location.

“We appreciate everyone’s cooperation,” Dutton said.

The floor of the building also had to be removed before it could be moved.

Dutton said the committee is hoping to have enough of the building restored to house the bandwagon through the winter; however, the exterior may not be done by that time. She said it varies how long it takes for each building to be restored depending on manpower and funding for materials.

“It’s very exciting to have all these things here,” she said. “All the things people have donated in the past have so much more meaning now.”

Dutton said Depot Village has been getting a lot of exposure lately as several bus tours, mostly from out of the area, are scheduled for tours.

The depot hosts several events throughout the summer as well to help raise funds for the restoration of the buildings. On July 13 and 14, the depot will host its annual Early America Live event, which is an 1890 re-enactment. This year, a special dedication will be held of the Jonathan Warner Tavern.

The building is a replica of the tavern, which was originally built in 1816. Warner was the second resident to come to Jefferson. He was also served as mayor and later a judge.

“He was a very prominent person here,” Dutton said. “We had a replica of his original sign made for the tavern.”

The bandwagon will be filled with a Dixieland band during the event and State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, will attend the dedication.

The dedication is at 1:30 p.m. and the Dixieland band will perform at 2 p.m.

Visitors to the village can stroll through the 1872 Lake Shore Michigan Southern Railroad Station and visit the 1848 “Church in the

Wildwood,” which was the first Methodist Episcopal meeting house. The 1849 Church Barn was built for the circuit-rider minister and patrons can see the 1838 Spafford One-Room Schoolhouse with its separate doors for girls and boys. Hohn’s General Store is filled with its original fixtures and merchandise and the 1860 Pharmacy features the Jackson Drug Store collection, herbal remedies and a medicinal herb garden behind it.

Folks can also take a look at the 1888 Victorian House and the 1845 Sheffield Post Office.

Restoration is under way on the Benetka Blacksmith Shop, the 1918 PRR Caboose and the Girls’ Outhouse.

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