172-Aurora-1

This handsome home was possibly built about 1850 by F.W. Bunnell for Mary Withers. It subsequently was sold to Seymour Straight in 1870 and moved from the 88 College Street site of Hayden Hall to this location to make way for Straight’s cheese-curing house. It has been situated here since 1877, and it was thoroughly renovated in the early 1900s by I.T. Frary, author of Early Homes of Ohio (1936), who lived in the house at that time.

The house features a Greek Revival doorway, rectangular transom and sidelights. The house has a wide frieze and corner boards. Windows are 6/6, double hung. The foundation is partially cemented over.

The house has had additions to both east and west, the east side once having been a two-story porch. The other addition dates to 1913, and was done by I. T. Frary. An inspection by Charles Willits indicates the original roof was hipped, changed and redone.

Without conclusive documentation establishing the Withers connection, HHA designated the house for I.T. Frary. Frary made this his residence in the early 1900s and made many alterations. His selection is also appropriate because of his contributions to historic preservation.

Ihna Thayer Frary was a nationally known and respected historian. Born in Cleveland, one of his jobs was in membership and publicity at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In the 1930s, he also was an advisor to the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), a critical research collection now housed in the U.S. Library of Congress.

Frary’s famous work, Early Homes of Ohio, was the gold standard for historical research for decades. The bulk of his collection of photos of Ohio buildings is now housed at the Ohio Historical Society (now Ohio History Connection).

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