Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Underwood Farms Rural Historical District ~ National Register of Historic Places

Three Underwood farms and Jonah's Run Baptist Church and Cemetery have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district is located in the vicinity of State Rte 73 and Brimstone Road, Chester Township, in northwestern Clinton County, Ohio. The district is located one mile east of the village of Harveysburg, Ohio and five miles from Waynesville, Ohio both in Warren County, Ohio. The Underwood Farms Rural Historical District is made up of 280 acres of land and sixteen buildings.
The district contains four major properties and edifices (click on below to see photographs):
Amos~Elihu~Daniel Underwood Farm: Built between 1850- 1853 by Lewis Dakin. Barn and outbuildings. Known as the "west brick".

Zephaniah Underwood Farm (James Dakin House): Built around 1846-1850. A two-story five-bay brick Federal style house with a two story ell. Directly behind it is a historic fruit barn that was associated with the Underwood Orchards. Barn and outbuildings. Known as the "east brick".

Tower House Farm ~ "The Zephaniah and Matilda Underwood House": Built between 1884-1886. It is an excellent example of the "Stick Style". Barn and outbuildings (see photograph upper left).

Jonah's Run Baptist Church & Cemetery: Located at 9614 State Rte 73 West. Built in 1838 and remodeled in 1872. The first grave in the cemetery dates from 1839. The church was founded by the Collett family who owned property to the south of State Rte 73. Although the Underwoods were Quakers and remained so, some of the Underwoods attended church at Jonah's Run as well as Quaker meeting and one Underwood married into the Collett family.

The Underwoods were farmers and grew, like other farmers in the area, they raised corn, oats and wheat and had a dairy operation. They also raised chickens, pigs and sheep. However, the Underwoods were famous for their orchards, none of which, unfortunately, have survived. Zephaniah Underwood had 70 acres of his farm in orchard with apples. The apple orchard was the central focus of the family activity on the farm and successful business.

The Underwoods were active members of The Society of Friends (Hicksite). They attended Grove Meeting in Harveysburg, a meeting that was a Preparative Meeting of Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville. Both Zephaniah and Matilda Underwood were active supporters of Quaker meeting and issues such as temperance and suffrage. Matilda Downing Underwood was a recognized minister in Grove Meeting of Friends. She was also an author. She wrote: Blue Bell of the Forest: A Story of the Olden Time, in the Middle West (published by the author in 1919) and her Autobiography (unpublished).



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Anonymous Sherlene Dishun said...

I just recently acquired two water color pictures. One of these is the house on 73, the Tower House. The artist signature is Douglas Smith. Do you know anything about this person? Thanks

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