Thurs, Feb 9, 7:30 at Barlow Community Center. Speakers to Discuss Past, Present, Future of Ravenna Arsenal at February Meeting.
Whedon Farwell House
This Federal-style masterpiece by architect-builder Lemuel Porter boasts numerous distinctive architectural details. On the outside, the wood sheathing includes flush, matched boards on all four sides. The central doorway is flanked by two-story reeded Ionic pilasters. The original roofline was a simple north-south gable (as evidenced by pockets still in place in the attic rafters), but was altered in the Italianate style in the 1870s when the roof brackets and the Tuscan tower were added. The round top Italianate front door and entry porch were also added at this time.
In the basement, whole tree logs used to support the structure and some of the original ironwork can still be seen. The entrance hall features a double doorway arch, Corinthian columns and an interior barrel vaulted ceiling – unique to Hudson and rare in the Western Reserve. Two plaster ceilings with Adamesque designs in the front parlors are original and seldom encountered this far west. Elaborate carving on mantels, moldings, window and doorframes is done in a delicate Adamesque design. The random width wainscoting is original.
The Whedon Farwell house was used not just as a home, but also as an inn. This explains some of the interior features, including doors that open to adjoining rooms upstairs to allow for large gatherings.
The home was designed for Benjamin Whedon, an early settler in Hudson and friend to Owen Brown. Whedon came to Hudson in 1805 and by 1807, had become a man of respect and means. He was a teacher in the town’s first schoolhouse, and later a merchant and a postmaster. In 1825, he became treasurer of Western Reserve College.
In 1815, he and David Hudson were ordained deacons in the First Congregational Church. However, in 1830, Whedon was excommunicated from the church for opening his house, with its double parlor, for a ball.
In 1871, businessman Charles Farwell bought the property. A tombstone in the Whedon Farwell basement belongs to Arba Porter, father-in-law to Charles Farwell.