Fayette Home Tour #1: Emerick-Ford 2012.11.14

Written by David Green.

tour.ford houseBy DAVID GREEN

The old square brick Emerick-Ford homestead on County Road S had been vacant about a dozen years when Dr. Robert Nyce and Tom Spiess decided to buy it in 1990.

It was overgrown, Tom recalls, and a tree had fallen and damaged one corner of the structure.

“When Doc and I purchased the property, most people thought the house would be torn down,” Tom said. “We chose to repair and reconstruct.”

He’s glad they made that decision because now one of the oldest homes in the area is still standing and back in good condition.

The house was restored and sold, and since then there have been two more owners before Tom bought it once again.

He's done extensive remodeling in recent months and the home is nearly ready for sale or rent.

"It was built by one of Fayette's original founding families," Tom said. The first members of the Emerick family settled in the area by 1840.

The house was built in 1870, two years before the incorporation of the village, when Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House. Twenty-two years after the Emerick house was built, Fayette Normal University was built to the southwest.

The two-story, 1,078 square foot house was surrounded by the family farm of more than 30 acres, with property on both sides of the road. The barn and other outbuildings are long gone, but the granary still exists, although it's been moved to a new location.

In the 1960s, several acres were sold for construction of Peter Stamping and for the village water treatment plant, and 15 acres remain. Some of the old ways were slow to change, Tom said, noting that an outhouse was still in use into the 1970s.

The symmetrical Georgian style home once included a kitchen, a coal-room and an add-on porch that were removed in the 1990s. At that time, the first floor included a dining room, pantry, front room and bedroom. Currently there’s a kitchen, living room and study. There are three bedrooms upstairs.

The full basement is made of native stone and the house walls are double brick without studs. The interior walls are plaster on brick.

Jim Bacon remembers the house well because his step-grandfather, Dorey Ford, was the owner at one time. In fact, Jim says, this is the house where he was born, although he doesn't know which room was the scene of his arrival.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016