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 HOUSE • 270 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 HOUSE • 318 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 HOUSE • 109 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 HOUSE • 386 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 HOUSE • 152 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 HOUSE • 286 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 HOUSE • 909 East Mennonite Road Oliver Spencer was one of eighty men from Aurora who joined the Union during the Civil War.
1869 HENRY D. BURROUGHS HOUSE • 51 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 HOUSE • 55 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 HOUSE • 59 Maple Lane
1842 GEORGE DRAKE HOUSE • 64 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 HOUSE • 486 East Garfield Road
1845 ALBERT RUSSELL SHELDON HOUSE • 1113 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 SHOP • 37 South Chillicothe Road Samuel Spencer was one of many Aurora men who fought and died in the Civil War.
1847 NOAH NICHOLS HOUSE • 1229 West Garfield Road
1840-1850 ISAAC STEDMAN HOUSE • 214 South Chillicothe Road
1845 REUBEN LORD HOUSE • 619 Bartlett Road
1840 AMERICUS V. JEWETT HOUSE • 123 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 HOUSE • 28 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 HOUSE • 356 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 HOUSE • 411 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 HOUSE • 528 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.”