Century Homes

The center of Aurora contains many original structures, but much relocation, alteration, addition, and demolition have augmented Aurora’s early architecture.  In the last half of the 1800s and beginning of the early 1900s, owners recycled their buildings for other uses, shuffling them around like a giant shell game.

MOVING HOMES AROUND Owners moved many buildings prior to 1890; this was no easy task without heavy equipment.  To move a home, the ground must be frozen to support the jacks needed to lift the house off its foundation.  Men placed large logs parallel, underneath the house and they hitched teams of oxen to the structure to glide it over the logs.  As the house moved forward, men took the rear log that rolled out from underneath and inserted it under the front of the moving house, creating a conveyor belt, with men leap-frogging the logs from rear to front to keep the operation in motion. There are currently about 120 century homes in town, denoted by the plaques by the front door.

To register a house as a Century Home in Aurora, the owner must supply documentation and historical information to the Aurora Historical Society that proves the provenance (history) of the home, its owners, and its age.  After the information is verified, the home owner can then purchase a Century Home plaque.

1838  EBENEZER SHELDON HOUSE   241 South Chillicothe Road In 1838, Ebenezer Sheldon Jr., son of Aurora’s first settler, purchased this property, originally part of the Baldwin holdings, from David Shepard.

1838-1840 EBENEZER SHELDON II HOUSE & STORE • 182 South Chillicothe Road Ebenezer Sheldon II lived in this home in the 1840s and used a part of it as a general store.  His heirs sold it to C.R. Harmon who, with his sons, operated it as the C.R. Harmon and Sons General Store into the 1940s.  It is now Chet Edwards, a store, selling interior design elements and furniture.

1835-1840 •  NELSON EGGLESTON HOUSE270 South Chillicothe Road General Nelson Eggleston lived in this Greek Revival House and also used it as his law office.  He proposed construction of a railroad through Aurora as early as 1835.

1830 ELI CANNON HOUSE 884 South Chillicothe Road Eli Cannon accompanied his widowed mother, Mary Butler Cannon, and his brothers John, George and Stephen to Aurora in 1805.  The family came from Blandford, Massachusetts.

1839 DR. JOHN HATCH HOUSE318 South Chillicothe Road Dr. John Hatch and his wife Sarah Gordon Hatch settled in Aurora in 1818.  Dr. Hatch served as one of the town’s doctors for seventeen years, dying at the age of fifty-four from “apoplexy occasioned by the fracture of the thigh by being thrown from his cutter.”

1870 JEREMIAH ROOT HOUSE109 South Chillicothe Road In the spring of 1807, wagon loads of settlers came to Aurora from Connecticut.  The Jeremiah Root family was one of those starting a new life in Ohio.

1860 ELISHA AND FRANK HURD HOUSE386 East Garfield Road Brothers Frank and Elisha Hurd owned a state-of-the-art cheese factory near the northwest corner of Eggleston and Garfield Roads.  This factory eventually produced 4,000 pounds of cheese daily.  The Hurd brothers, along with their father Hopson Hurd, shipped one million pounds of cheese through the Aurora Station depot in 1862.

1830 BOHAN BLAIR HOUSE152 North Bissell Road Bohan Blair served as a Private in Captain Ebenezer Harmon’s Company during the War of 1812.  The Aurora Company, as a whole, served from August 22nd until October 7th, 1812 to protect the town from the threat of an Indian and British attack.

1830 CAPTAIN JOSEPH EGGLESTON HOUSE286 Eggleston Road Joseph Eggleston and his brother migrated to Aurora from Middlefield, Massachusetts in 1806.  In 1810, he served as a Lieutenant in Aurora’s first military company with thirty other citizens. This was the same company, under General Harmon, who rose to defend the area from threats during the War of 1812.

1838-1840 OLIVER SPENCER HOUSE909 East Mennonite Road Oliver Spencer was one of eighty men from Aurora who joined the Union during the Civil War.

1869 HENRY D. BURROUGHS HOUSE51 South Chillicothe Road Henry Burroughs remembered that “When I came to Aurora in 1863, I had never before found a place where there was so much cheese, fun and frolic.

1870 FRANK HURD HOUSE55 North Bissell Road Known as “the Cheese King of the Western Reserve,” Frank Hurd owned a Cheese Factory on Silver Creak, east of the river at Aurora Station as well as seven other Cheese Factories.  He later moved to a larger home on South Chillicothe Road.

1840-1844 SIMEON JENNINGS HOUSE59 Maple Lane

1842 GEORGE DRAKE HOUSE64 South Chillicothe Road The 1850 Business Census listed George W. Drake as a Boot and Shoe Worker.  His home is an example of early Greek Revival Style.

1850 JOHN PRESTON HOUSE486 East Garfield Road

1845 ALBERT RUSSELL SHELDON HOUSE1113 East Pioneer Trail Albert Russell Sheldon, grandson of Ebenezer Sheldon, built this Greek Revival Style home, known as Spring Hill Farm.  It is the fourth house built by the Sheldons on Lot 40.  Sheldon, a successful farmer and cattle dealer, did not enjoy his new home for long, as he died suddenly in 1856, at the age of forty-one.  Cornelia Dow Sheldon, his widow, raised their sons, Frank Dow Sheldon and Albert Gershom Sheldon, here and managed the large farm.

1848 SAMUEL W. SPENCER SHOP37 South Chillicothe Road Samuel Spencer was one of many Aurora men who fought and died in the Civil War.

1847 NOAH NICHOLS HOUSE1229 West Garfield Road

1840-1850 ISAAC STEDMAN HOUSE214 South Chillicothe Road

1845 REUBEN LORD HOUSE619 Bartlett Road

1840 AMERICUS V. JEWETT HOUSE123 South Chillicothe Road The 1850 Business Census reported that Americus Jewett, along with his brother Columbus Jewett, were Aurora’s Saddle and Harness Makers.  Americus Jewett is listed as performing other work as well, amounting to an additional $400 in income for the year.

1870 FRANK HURD HOUSE28 South Chillicothe Road Frank Hurd was one of Aurora’s leading business men.  He remodeled his large, Italianate Style home in 1901.  He lived here with his wife and three daughters.

1868 CHARLES RUSSELL HOUSE356 East Garfield Road After the Civil War, Charles Russell came to Aurora Station and became a storekeeper and Post Master.  In the 1890s, he served as the proprietor of the Aurora House at Aurora Station.

1853 C.R. HOWARD HOUSE411 East Garfield Road Chester Risley Howard was a prominent miller who located his businesses and house at 411 East Garfield Road.  In 1853, Howard razed the old frame house and built this Gothic Revival Style home.  The house features coursed cobblestone walls twenty inches thick.

1853 JOHN GOULD HOUSE528 East Garfield Road John Gould was a farmer in Aurora.  He was also active in the “Deestrict Schule,” a comic entertainment produced by the Congregational Church in early 1891 to improve its financial situation.  Gould served as this group’s “head teacher.”

12 comments

The Sheldon cabin was located on the south side of East Pioneer Trail near the city limits with Mantua. There is just a marker that identifies the location of where it may have been. There is a house on the north side of the road a little further west where the Sheldon’s built several homes for the years. The city recently purchased the land as part of conserving the Chagrin River watershed. The house is in disrepair and will most likely be torn down. There is a small law office which the city and the historical society plan to relocate to the center of town and restore it for use by the society. The address for the house is 1113 East Pioneer Trail, Aurora.

John Kudley, Director of the Museum and President of the AHS.

Blake Sheldon

Hello. At what address is the original settler Ebenezer Sheldon’s log cabin? I ask because he is my great (Ashley), great (Curtis), great (Seth), great (Ebenezer II), great grandfather. I currently live in NC, so no hopes of me coming out to visit. Thanks.

Blake Sheldon

I’m curious – at what address is the original Ebenezer Sheldon’s log cabin? I ask because he is my great (Ashley), great (Curtis), great (Seth), great (Ebenezer II), great grandfather.
Thank you.

Hello again! I was curious as if you could tell me about the house that use to sit where currently Miller is at. I found an old house there on an old maps site, and suspected the house was built between 1940 – 1952. Maybe you could tell me a bit more about it if you know anything.

not really i suggest you contact the parks and rec department

Hello, I have talked to you guys before. I was wondering if you happen to know of any city owned property I may be able to metal detect.
Thanks

Could I get more information on the John Gould house at 528 E. Garfield? Like what his house was used for and what he as a person did for a living in this time period in Aurora?? THanks

Come to the historical society in the basemen of the library. Our hours are posted on the home page.

Our family has just moved to Aurora..and must say love the area so far…would love to know the history alittle more ..on the West Garfield end..we are on a decent size creek/river just west of Bissell (876 W Garfield Rd) ..wondering where I could find some old photos..maybe dig up some old history of the land we are living on! Kids are finding all kinds of old treasures in it 🙂 Thanks for any help and your time!

Julie Fultz

thanks for this, Its my son who lives there now with his family,\ the house was built in 1910, and it is diffently haunted!! they continue to talk to me about all the happenings that are going on in this house. we need more information on the house. its address is 1093 north aurora road. would love to know who owned this house in the beginning thru say 1950. any way of finding this out?

Hi

We will try to find out some info for you. I believe we have an aerial shot of the building in the 20s. Finding out the parcel # with the county recorder’s office would be a start. Much of their info is available on line at the Portage County web site. We have some tax maps which have owner’s names and value of the buildings on the property.

looking for information on the once old gastation on aurora rd near speedway. It now is a Matlin’s transmission shop. also would like information on the old house that is connected to that building right next door. can you help or tell me where I can find out who the original owners were and info on them? thanks

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