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Hidley Cottage

Hidley Cottage or the James P. Hidley Cottage, 1820 Oxford-Reily Road, Reily, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) of the Ohio Historical Society says "Hidley Cottage, built ca. 1860, is significant because it is one of the rare examples of Carpenter's Gothic existing in Butler County. The cottage, built of board and batton constuction, displays highly ornate bargeboard along the gable roof and a small raised porch accented with highly decorative wooden trim." The OHPO says "the land . . . was originally purchased from the United States government in a public lands sale in April 1801 by an early pioneer to Butler County, Samuel Dick. After inheriting the land from his father, David Dick built a grist mill and sawmill on the land in 1810. In 1830 Lewis Enyart bought the mill property. In 1855 he sold the mill and land to Elias Sayers. Later the property passed into possession of William J. Saloman. In 1860 Saloman sold the mill and 37 acres to James P. Hidley and Thompson Gray. In 1868 Hidley became absolute owner and operator of the mill until his death."

OHPO says "in 1940 the mill was torn down and the salvaged materials were used to build a garage on the Hidley property. The garage has since been destroyed by fire." "Upon deciding to build a cottage for his family," OHPO explains, "Hidley worked in Michigan with a Swiss family to learn the skill of carving wood ornamentation in architecture. In the mid 1800s he returned to the rural community of Reily to build a two-room cottage with back kitchen. Later he added a large room on the rear of the building. The house is highly decorated with wood ornamentation, of Hidley's own design, some of which he carved by hand with a penknife. The lumber used for construction was cut at the sawmill on the premises. Hidley also included a chicken house, wood shed, smokehouse and outhouse, all designed in the Carpenter's Gothic style as the house. In the late 1800's Hidley was commissioned by Butler County to construct a stone culvert 60 ft. southeast of his house on what is now Stillwell Road. He also laid a wall along the mill race running in front of his house. These two examples of hand laid stonework are still intact. Upon Hidley's death, his property passed on to his daughter and son, Olive Hidley Duncan and Milton Hidley. In 1914 Olive H. Duncan assumed full possession of the house and property. It is then passed on to her daughter, Delore B. Marmaduke, upon Olive Duncan's death in 1934. Mrs. Marmaduke and her husband lived in the house for 15 years. In 1962 the property" left the family of its builder.

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