Historic Houses featured on Piqua Holiday Tour


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

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

This year are eight remarkable properties, according to a press release from the historic district, including the Samuel Gordon House and the Homer Nellis House. Below is a full list of properties included in this year’s tour. Watch for subsequent press releases with more detailed information about the individual properties.

2023 Historic Tour Properties

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

Homer Nellis House, owned by Debbie & 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 & 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.

The Samuel Gordon House

This beautiful Greek Revival style two-story, five-bay home was built in 1843 for a local merchant named Samuel Gordon. In 1913, Gordon had the roof transformed into a California Mission style, giving the home an even more graceful and elegant appearance.

Dr. and Mrs. Weis owned the house for some time, and Mrs. Weis was socially prominent within the community and known for her extravagant entertaining. They had a second full-service kitchen installed. To give the home a more “modern-day” appeal, the house underwent extensive renovations to include a master suite, dressing room, sitting room with a sleeping room, family room, and large, well-appointed garage. Mrs. Weis also insisted on installing in-house telephones and maid call buttons to accommodate the day-to-day operations of the household.

Since 2014, Sue and Don Smith have enjoyed ownership of this historic property, and they, too, are known within the community for their elaborate social events. In 2021, the Smiths converted the flat roof over their garage into a New York-style rooftop patio, including a cabana, exotic plants, and a wet bar to allow them to entertain in an open-air atmosphere.

The Homer Nellis House

The charming Queen Anne-style home at 417 Caldwell St. was built in 1886-1887 for Homer and Libbie G. Nellis. The home is located to the rear of what was known as ‘the main house’ on the corner of Ash and Caldwell Streets at 324 W. Ash St.

This is a beautiful example of a Queen Anne-style structure, including many decorative elements such as ornate corbels, half-timbering, and palladian windows, along with decorative spindle work on the front porch and gables. This home style was becoming very popular in Piqua when it was built, and this is a beautifully restored treasure. This historic property is currently under the ownership and care of Debbie and Curt Orr.

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 piquacaldwellhistoricdistrict.org or follow us on Facebook (Piqua-Caldwell Historic District Association).

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