Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Soy un perdedor, I'm a Leuser baby...

The Miller-Leuser Log House is dated at being built in 1796 by Ichabod Benton Miller, one of the first settlers to what is now the Anderson Township area East of Cincinnati.  The way the deed is worded, the house may actually pre-date 1796 by a few years.
The Miller's lived here for nearly 40 years. Ichabod also happened to be the son-in-law of Captain Aaron Mercer who founded the nearby town Mercerburgh OH, the first settlement in Anderson Township which is now called Newtown OH.

The only log house remaining in its original location in Hamilton County OH is also the area's oldest continually occupied house at 170 years. Lawrence and Emma Leuser were the last residents who lived there for nearly 60 of those years until 1968. It's been added onto and modified to suit the needs of the various occupants and now has two additional rooms on the main floor so it's much more spacious than the original.

Log homes back then generally had just a front door and a one window that could be barricaded to keep the owners safe from hostilities. This house was built shortly after the Treaty of Greenville ceded most of Ohio to the US so this was at a time when there were only about 5000 white settlers in Ohio. Even though some Indian tribes signed the treaty, not all bands of these tribes recognized their validity. The settlers were trespassers as far as they were concerned.

In 1971 the Miller-Leuser Log House and the land surrounding it was purchased by the Anderson Township Historical Society (ATHS) who had it restored and furnished with period pieces. In 1974 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2 seater outhouse on the right
In June 2011 I was happy to see an Ohio Historical Marker was placed here which can be seen in the first photo along with my daughter on our visit one Sunday last October on one of the last tours for the year given by the ATHS.

I learned a few new things on the tour. For one, I had been pronouncing "Leuser" as "Loser". The actual pronunciation is LOY-ser. Also, the difference between a log cabin and a log house is that a log cabin has one floor and a log home has two.
The tour guides were very nice and made a special effort to engage the children that were on the tour. Besides the period furniture, there were also some nice pictures that showed what the house looked like over the years as well as some photos of its residents.

What really makes this structure more unique is that not very many buildings from the 18th century are still standing in the Cincinnati area. In fact, I can only think of one other standing cabin that predates this one. The 1795 Dunn Cabin in Shawnee Lookout Park which has near it, a stone Spring House where the 1786 Treaty of Fort Finney was supposedly signed. However, both of these structures have been moved from their original nearby locations.

Cincinnati is very lucky to have this well preserved and well-maintained exhibit of local history thanks to the efforts the Anderson Township Historical Society.

The  Miller-Leuser log house is open for tours on the 1st and 3rd Sunday, June through October 1-4PM.

For more information about the log house and the ATHS, please visit their website.

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