Found in the Sunday Paper in the SUNDAY LIVING section:
OCTAGON HOME WAS STOP FOR ESCAPED SLAVES.
BY CONNIE SMITH
Sunday Paper Reporter
| Originating in 300
B.C., octagon houses were popular in the United States between 1850 and
1860, according to historians. Thirteen of the eight-sided houses
are listed in Ohio, with two in Conneaut.
David Cummins built one such home at 310 Liberty St. in 1863. Tomatoes and pumpkins, canned in the kitchen one year later under the Lake Shore Brand, brought fame to the Cummins Canning Co.
The home is said to have been an Underground Railroad station before the Civil War by which negro slaves were aided while escaping from southern owners.
A trap door led from the home's former pantry to an underground tunnel extending 150 feet from the house to the Conneaut Creek. Although the tunnel, which ran 15 feet under Liberty Street, has since caved in, several local residents recall exploring it.
The house, featuring the bracketed cornice, was purchased in 1955 by Mr. and Mrs. Carmen Zeppetella and Mrs. Zeppetella's parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Leon D. Shafer.
All eight sides of the home are 20 feet wide on the outside and 18 feet wide on the inside. Vertical boards and beveled wood strips over joints cover the walls.
A "board wall" method was used by Mr. Cummins in erecting the house. Boards are laid flat, one on top of the other, alternately lapped at each angle and nailed together. The outside is covered with vertical strips and the seams with battens.
The roof features a 20 degree pitch with an octagonal cupola (small) structure used as a lookout) measuring approximately seven feet in diameter. Entrance to the cupola is made from a narrow circular staircase leading from the second floor.
The 16-room house contains three bedrooms, living room, ironing room, two large walk-in closets with windows and bathroom upstairs; kitchen, living room, dining room, playroom, den, entrance hall and bathroom downstairs.
The 111 year old white, trimmed with black shutters, containing secrets of much history in Conneaut, attracts many visitors.
The Octagon House on Liberty Street was recently
donated to the
This Web Page has been created to promote the City of Conneaut, Ohio by Sharon Wick 2002