3497 Fairmount Boulevard (1977, 1978, 1997)
To take a step back in time to the pre-Civil War days in the Western Reserve, one has only to cross the threshold of this enchantingly preserved Cleveland Heights Landmark home. One feels immediately transported by this vernacular farmhouse of the Greek Revival period to an era when life could be a bit rugged, yet fulfilling in the close personal ties forged by settling a new area.
Built in 1853 on a 56-acre tract of land with apple orchards, this site must have been breath-taking in spring time. The current owners, through their careful research, have cleverly dated this home through tax records. Taxes more than doubled between 1852 and 1854 when it was shown that there were now two buildings on the land. They climbed from $4.64 per year to $10.89!
Although the house originally was heated by wood stoves and had no fireplaces, the current owners have added a fireplace with a period appearance to the "great room." This room was created from the original dining room and part of the original wrap-around porch. A trap door to the cellar hides demurely under a rug, remembering the day when as part of the porch, it had been outside.
The colors seen throughout the home are historically in keeping with colors popular during this era. Walls of eggshell white are pleasingly contrasted with a blue/green on decorative moldings. Original wide plank flooring has stood the test of time, with only slight warpage in the kitchen, which of course, adds character.
The living room has been furnished like a traditional parlor and contains two lovely windows that reach to the floor. French doors lead from the parlor to a guest room. This room has a large closet, unusual in a house of this era. Furnishings in this room are Victorian heirlooms of the current owners.
The first floor bathroom was originally a storage area, but Philadelphia paneling, a claw-footed tub and an old school house light fixture enticingly suggest that they have always been there.
The kitchen has been expanded and remodeled, taking care that all renovations be as historically accurate as possible. Paneling and cupboards reproduce originals.
Steep stairs to the second floor are angled to accommodate the chimney, which runs up the center of the house. The chimney is exposed at the top of the stairs.
The current owners, in touch with the descendants of the original owners, the Penty family, have gleaned some interesting memories to add to the history of this home. One family member recalls that the house was once struck by lightning; another remembers a funeral which was held in the house. Yet another recalls that indoor plumbing was added very early in the 1900s.
This historic home is a true gem, as indeed the owners are as well. They look upon themselves as custodians of this home, lovingly caring for it and documenting its history, so that it may be enjoyed by many generations yet to come.