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Walden Ponds

Walden Ponds is a golf community in Fairfield Township that opened in June 1997 on the former Rentschler Farm east of Hamilton-Middletown Road (Ohio 4) and south of Ohio 4 Bypass. The original plan included 675 homesites with residences in the $160,000 to $350,000 price range. The project was estimated at $165 million with the golf course costing $7.5 million. The layout includes a 7,022-yard championship course and a 5,021-yard short course.

The 17-room, 10,325-square foot mansion -- now a clubhouse as built in the 1830s is believed to have been started in the 1830-1840 era by Joseph Hough, a pioneer Hamilton merchant, and later acquired by his daughter, Mary, and her husband, John M. Millikin. They passed the farm -- known then as Maplewood -- to their son, Daniel Millikin, who sold it in the 1880s to George Adam Rentschler, the father of Gordon Rentschler. George -- who died May 24, 1923 -- expanded the house in the 1890s. Gordon resided on the property in 1925 when he moved to the bank to start a 23-year career with the National City Bank (later Citibank) in 1925. Gordon Rentschler, born in Hamilton Nov. 25, 1885, was president of the Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Co. until moving to New York. Gordon Rentschler and his family moved to Long Island, but maintained The Farm, as it was known, off Middletown Pike at Millikin Road. He died of a heart attack March 3, 1948, while in Havana, Cuba, and was buried in Hamilton after private services at The Farm. After 1941 the home was occupied by Colonel Sidney D. Waldon, a Detroit automotive and aeronautical entrepreneur, and his wife, Helen Rentschler Walden. She was a sister of George A. Rentschler, who in 1945 was president of the General Machinery Corp.; Frederick B. Rentschler, chairman of United Aircraft Corp., Hartford, Conn.; and Gordon S. Rentschler, chairman of the National City Bank of New York.

Colonel Waldon died in the house Jan. 20, 1945. Mrs. Waldon resided at the 349-acre Rentschler Farm until her death Sept. 10, 1967. In the mid 1990s, the property was the center of a controversy involving the City of Hamilton and Fairfield Township. The Rentschler farm was the key to a Hamilton plan to annex and develop 1,037 acres. The plan fell through after a bitter political and legal battle. To stop Hamilton from annexing the tract, including the 349-acre Rentschler farm, Fairfield Township trustees voted Sept. 29, 1994, to incorporate as the City of Indian Springs under special state legislation. The change was effective Dec. 28, 1994, but an Aug. 9, 1995, court ruling reversed the action. The City of Indian Springs became Fairfield Township again. In 1996, development began of the Walden Ponds golf community.

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