Piqua Historic Holiday Tour Spotlight
Information and images provided by the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association
PIQUA - The Historic Holiday Tour will take place from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11. It includes touring the interior of six historic properties and anyone interested can purchase tickets ($25 each) at Readmore’s Hallmark in downtown Piqua or online HERE.
Here are 4 of the historic properties that can be toured:
St. Paul's Church
St. Paul’s Church, located at 500 N Downing Street is delighted to participate in the 2021 Piqua-Caldwell Historic Holiday Tour on Saturday, December 11, from 5-8pm.
Holiday tourists will be greeted with beautiful sounds of the season even before they reach the threshold of the church as musicians playing brass instruments will welcome guests at the entryway. Once in the sanctuary, tourists will be treated to a continuous concert of holiday music to include a variety of vocalists and organ music. While moving throughout the church guests will also be treated to freshly baked cookies, a cup of coffee or hot apple cider.
St. Paul’s Evangelical Church was established October 18, 1846. The current building’s corner stone was placed in June of 1868. Over the years there have been several remodels, the most significant in 1921 with the addition of the beautiful stain glass windows. The church is currently celebrating its 175th anniversary and many church members will be on hand to answer questions about this historic property during the tour.
Pastor Dr. Keith Gebhart, and worship director Jason Townsend, along with St. Paul’s Church Council President, Steve Schulz, invite you to tour this beautiful church and learn about its rich history.
The Allison Home (pictured below) is the Tudor style home built in 1889 for Samuel M. Allison and his wife Frances. Samuel Allison was the General Manager of the Cron-Kills Furniture Company, and the Allison family lived in the home until 1920. At that time it became the residence of Dr. J. R. Caywood, physician and surgeon, and in 1970, Dick and Corky Buecker, of Buecker Interiors, bought the home. Craig Clemons and his wife, Theresa, have also resided at 328 N Downing Street. Craig was a former American Football Safety in the National Football League who was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1972. The current owners, Joe and Tracy Thobe, purchased the home in 1991 where they raised their three children.
The home retains a number of its original features. Throughout the main floor quarter-sawn oak is featured in all the wood work. This technique creates a beautiful distinctive grain, usually used in high end application, known as Tiger Oak. The main entry welcomes visitors with a built-in bench and mirror above adorned with brass coat hooks. Upon entering the living room, the opening is flanked by 7 ft Doric columns. Three fireplaces with unique surrounds are in the living room, dining room and master bedroom. Double pocket doors can be found between the living and dining rooms. Two more single pocket doors are off of the hallway into the dining room and TV room. There is a butler’s pantry situated between the dining room and kitchen complete with swinging door. The hard wood flooring throughout the entire house is laid in a picture frame pattern.
When the Thobes moved in, a large portion of the woodwork had been painted white and the pocket
doors closed up. They have since stripped back the paint to reveal the beautiful wood surfaces underneath. Visitors are kindly asked to wear a mask properly when touring this home to keep all guests safe.
Maria Greenham House
Now owned by Nancy Mullenbrock and the home to Ameriprise Financial at 228 West Ash Street in downtown Piqua (pictured below), the Maria Greenham House was originally established in 1853. This Greek Revival-style home was built for Maria Greenham, widow of Nicholas Greenham. Nicholas was a well-known businessman and the first warden (along with Col. John Johnston) of St. James Episcopal Church.
Many of the original walls are three bricks thick. When major exterior work was done in 2005, what appears to be the original oak-hewn rain gutters were found (and are still there) under the roof extensions. A porch addition that had been added along the way was also removed exposing the original architecture of the building.
Five doctors have been associated with this building from 1896 to 1994—Dr. Oliver Tydings, Dr. James Murray, Dr. John Beachler Sr., Dr. John Beachler Jr and Alka Shah, MD. The first four doctors lived upstairs and practiced downstairs for part or all of their careers. Per Kyle Fincel of Fincel Door, the first electric garage door in Piqua was installed here for John Beachler, Sr.
Holiday tourists will be treated to apple cider while learning more about the history of this property and its significance to Piqua.
E.A. Todd House
The Queen Anne style home built in 1888 and located at 715 N Downing Street (pictured below) is one of six historic properties featured in the 2021 Historic Holiday Tour. Architectural features include a Victorian tower, multiple nooks and crannies, original fireplaces, a traditional wrap-around porch, and detailed interior molding.
The original owner, Edgar A. Todd, attended public schools in Piqua, graduating in 1882. He then started working in his family’s wallpaper store located on Main Street, later becoming the secretary and treasurer of the Dayton Natural Gas Company. In 1899, he assisted in the formation of the Piqua Underwear Company with Clarence Langdon and J.M. Cahill. Ten short months later, Mr. Todd, alongside Leo M. Flesh, and William P. Orr, purchased the company and renamed it the “Atlas Underwear Company”, making Piqua, Ohio, the "underwear capital of the world."
The Atlas Underwear Company was located at 821-835 North Downing Street, which has now become a corner park in Piqua. As the company grew, it became a major employer to many individuals and families in the area. Mr. Todd served as treasurer and with his dedication and assistance for twenty years, the Atlas Underwear Company grew to be one of the largest manufacturers of underwear in the United States. Mr. Todd was also a very prominent community member, actively working on the park board, a member of the Masons, as well as being a part of the Presbyterian Church of Piqua.
Edgar A. Todd married Miss Ida M. McCabe, and they had 2 children together. The Todds sold their house at 715 North Downing, in 1906 to Sarah A. Mundell.