Showcasing historic Liberty homes

LIBERTY — The many historic homes in Liberty and those who lived there were highlighted by local resident Marcia Levy at a recent gathering of the Girard Historical Society’s Founders Day.

The Girard society is planning for its annual holiday open houses Nov. 25 and 26, Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at the Barnhisel House in Girard. A members and volunteers recognition event will be in May.

Levy, who has presented her program to many different groups, said Robert Thorn and Ann McClellan had a home at 3625 Sampson Road and after Robert died in 1850, he left all his farm and property to his wife.

“This home was used as an Underground Railroad home and as a tannery,” Levy said.

She said the home later become property of Henry Taylor.

“I have been able to see many of the homes. Many sit on five or more acres,” she said.

The property at 4025 Sampson Road has a private lake on it and 3645 Sampson Road was part of the Henry Cagan hunting camp and was called Oak Brook House.

“Everyone who has lived in this house has enlarged and rehabbed it over the years. It is over 5,000 square feet on two acres of land,” she said.

At 819 Ravine Drive, James Bailey Jennings, one of the earlier settlers of Liberty, owned a farmhouse with the family homestead originally located on Logan Way and now at the corner of Sampson Road and Ravine Drive.

“Many wealthy industrialists living on Wick Avenue decided that Liberty Township was a nice place to have their country homes, so they bought land and began building mansions in Liberty,” Levy said.

One of the first to build a mansion was Major John Logan. His father was a general during the Civil War and was a vice presidential candidate.

Levy said the older Logan started the tradition of Decoration Day, which is now called Memorial Day.

The younger Logan started and built Oriole Farm, where he raised horses.

“It became a popular place,” she said.

The home at 3128 Logan Way was built in 1890 and was 11,000 square feet before it was burned in a fire and later rebuilt.

The home was later sold to William Sampson, who owned a coal company.

Levy said Henry Wick was one of the wealthiest people in the United States and owned several companies that produced rubber and became very involved in real estate.

He built a home in 1912 on 131 acres of land, known as the Holland Farm on Logan Way. Wick later purchased 600 acres of land and built a mansion called the Wick Mansion.

Other homes highlighted included John Tod’s Tod Wood Farm, where he raised Arabian horses. The Youngstown Country Club was built in 1899 on 131 acres of land.