Anderson-Bennet, Rhodehamel Houses on tour


PIQUA — The Piqua-Caldwell Historic District’s Historic Holiday Tour is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Included this year are eight remarkable properties including the Anderson-Bennett House and Solomon Rhodehamel House.

The Anderson-Bennett House, now owned by Stacy and Benny Scott and serving as headquarters for Scott Family McDonalds, was originally built in 1869 for Adrian Anderson.

Anderson was a partner in the Worrell, Anderson and Gray lumber business. After being owned by two other individuals, in 1875, the property was sold to Charles W. Bennett, and he Bennett family were residents for almost 70 years.

The Anderson-Bennett house was built as a rectangular two-story brick dwelling in the Italianate style. On the front are plain brackets evenly spaced under the cornices and the windows are elongated with radiating brick lintels. The mansard roof was added later with frame projecting dormers. The half octagonal window and plain stone lintels on the front west side were added within twenty years of its construction and the front window on the east side was added between 1880-1890.

The basic Italianate style of the structure compliments the historic developments of the area. The Anderson-Bennett house is one of eight Italianate structures built within two blocks of West Ash Street during the period 1866 to 1876. The Anderson-Bennett house is also locally significant since during Bennett’s tenure as Superintendent of Public Schools (1874-1907) the house functioned as an educational and cultural center for the community.

Several newspaper articles refer to the frequent use of the Bennett house as a “mecca” for Piqua’s cultural life.

The next beautiful home featured, the Solomon Rhodehamel House. was originally built in 1895 for Solomon Rhodehamel and his wife Priscilla.

The structure is built of pressed brick in the Colonial Revival style with large semicircular brick arches and other decorative brick patterns. The Dormer roof displays a very large hip gable. Inside the home you will find beautiful original wood floors and staircase, a fireplace with Rookwood tile surround and a breathtaking original stained glass window.

Solomon Rhodehamel was a linseed oil manufacturer who passed away in 1902. His wife Priscilla continued living in the home with her daughters until her death in 1917. At that time their unmarried daughters remained in the house until their later deaths, two weeks apart, in 1959. Mary was 90 and Alice was 88.

In 1990, as a project for the Upper Valley Joint Vocational School, the garage was built on the property. The home is currently owned by Mary Ann Beach and she plans to serve cookies and cider during the tour.

Following is a full list of properties included in this year’s tour of the 2023 Historic Tour Properties:

• Soloman Rhodehamel House, owned by Mary Ann Beach, 410 N Downing St.;

• Homer Nellis House, owned by Debbie and Curt Orr, 417 Caldwell St.;

• Francis Morrow House, owned by Lori Hedberg and Laura Schwein, 400 Caldwell St.,

• St. James Episcopal, 200 W. High St.;

• Samuel Gordon House, owned by Sue and Don Smith, 333 W. Greene St.;

• Anderson-Bennett House, owned by Stacy and Benny Scott, 218 W. Ash St.;

• Westminster Presbyterian Church, 325 W. Ash St.;

•Non-district “bonus house” – Jacob M. Friedlich House, owned by Wendy Roth, 509 Broadway St.

Tour tickets are on sale now at or Readmore’s Hallmark for $25. Interested tourists are encouraged to get their tickets early as this is a very popular holiday event and ticket sales are limited to 300 tourists.

The Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association, founded in 2017, and acquiring its 501(c)3 non-profit designation in 2019, is focused on “Preserving our Past, For the Future”. To learn more about the Piqua-Caldwell Historic District, please visit or follow us at Facebook (Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association).

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