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Ball-Caldwell House

On East Street in Caldwell, Ohio is the Ball-Caldwell House built in 1832, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo by Jim Langston.

HISTORY- Ball-Caldwell House

Robert Caldwell, born in 1762, came to Washington County, Ohio in 1795 from Chester County, Pennsylvania. A revolutionary war soldier, he surveyed this area of Ohio for Rufus Putnam who helped settle Marietta, the first settlement of the Northwest Territory.

Robert married Jane Fulton, niece of steamboat pioneer Robert Fulton. The marriage produced eleven children, including Samuel born in 1800 at Lower Salem. In 1808 Robert acquired 600 acres of land in Olive Township, then part of Morgan County. In 1809 he built a log cabin making it the first clearing in the area. Robert and his wife both died in 1831 and are buried in Olive Cemetery.

Samuel married Sarah Brownrigg, a native of England in 1827. In 1832 Samuel built the existing brick home on the site of an Indian camp, a fact verified by artifacts found on the grounds. Samuel was a prosperous farmer and by 1836 owned both a sawmill and a gristmill.

In 1851 the Ohio Legislature created Noble County, the last and youngest in the state. In 1854 Samuel Caldwell donated the land for the location of the Noble County Court House and the surrounding square. The county commissioners named the town in honor of its benefactor.

Ed and Elizabeth Ball purchased the property in 1920 from Norwista Caldwell Parker, granddaughter of Samuel Caldwell. Their son Bob was 1 year old when the family moved from Middleburg into their new home. There were 10 children born to Ed and Elizabeth. Two died in infancy at Middleburg. Eight grew to adulthood while living in Caldwell. The youngest child Carroll was the only one to be born in this house in 1922.

In 1983 Bob and Mary Ann, his wife, purchased the home from the Ball family heirs. He remembered very well what the interior and exterior of the house looked like and they began a 7 year project to restore it accordingly. The nine room brick and wood house has undergone extensive restoration, however, they have avoided doing anything irreversible to the house or to the surrounding grounds.

Unique to the structure is the technique used in laying the brick on the front of the house. Samuel Caldwell in the contract dated 1832, requested the Flemish bond method whereby one brick is laid long, the next short, the next long and so on.

The 1832 original porch wood pillars are in storage and will eventually be replaced.

At one time the overhanging "sleeping" or "airing" porch at the front of the home was accented with six over six windows.

Inside the house the decor has not been confined to any particular period but a feeling of warmth and cheerfulness has been achieved. It might best be described as a "gentlemen's" farmhouse.

Some of the furniture has been purchased from local residents at auctions. The Ball family has also contributed to interior furnishings.

Several different woods are used throughout the home including Chestnut. Much stenciling has been used to decorate walls. Original stenciling was uncovered and left intact in a bedroom. The stenciling pattern uncovered on the parlor walls was copied, reproduced and re-stenciled as you see it today.

In 1832 oil lamps provided light. Wood and coal were used in the 5 fireplaces for heat. In 1898 gas was available and gas fixtures were installed for light and gas used in fireplaces. Around 1911 a "Wise" wood and coal furnace was installed in the basement for central heat.

In 1927 electricity was available and light fixtures in the home today are the originals. An attempt has been made to retain as much authenticity as possible both inside and outside the home. This includes flagstone and brick walks, flower gardens, and a hand dug well for drinking and cooking water. In 1895 a flagstone 7 inches thick, 11 feet at its widest point, 22 feet at its longest length was placed at the entrance door to the dining room by Fulton Caldwell.

On March 27, 1980 the home was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places by the federal government.


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