Sunday, June 04, 2000

Preservationists minding their manors

Experts examine historic sites

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MADISON TOWNSHIP — Two “doctors” made a house call this past week to the historic Chrisholm farmstead, but they didn't bring medical kits.

        Instead, Lisa Adkins and Martha Raymond brought their expertise on the maintenance of historic buildings.

(Michael Snyder photo)
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        As part of the Ohio Historical Society's “Building Doctor” program, the two pres ervation experts visited the 126-year-old Chrisholm house in rural Madison Township and eight historic private homes elsewhere in Butler County Thursday and Friday.

        At these visits and at a seminar Thursday at the Butler County Historical Society Museum in Hamilton, the pair presented guidelines for maintaining historic buildings.

        Ms. Adkins is program coordinator for the Ohio His toric Preservation Office, while Ms. Raymond heads the office's technical preservation services department.

        Friends of Chrisholm, a nonprofit group, is restoring the Chrisholm site and hopes to have it ready for public visits within two years.

        After a thorough examination, oMs. Adkins gave the house a good prognosis.

        “It's in remarkably good condition considering the lack of repairs over the years,” Ms. Adkins said, after touring the large, two-story house.

        Donated five years ago by Cinergy to MetroParks of Butler County, the 21-acre Chrisholm site is an important remnant of Amish history in the county.

        Christian Augspurger, the leader of the Amish-Mennonite settlement in the valley, built a house at the site in 1830. Fire destroyed that home in 1873, and the next year, Samuel Augspurger, his son, built the existing brick farmhouse.

        Ms. Adkins offered suggestions for repairing minor damage, keeping bats out, and constructing outbuildings on the property.



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