Not many people can trace their property’s roots back 200-plus years; Doug Wickham, current owner of this unique Pierce Township home, would be the exception. As the story goes, the federal government awarded Officer Nathaniel Lucas two 2,000-acre parcels of land just north of the Ohio River in exchange for his service during the Revolutionary war. Per Wickham, Lucas’s wife allegedly refused to move here, calling the area “uncivilized,” so Lucas sold all 4,000 acres circa 1803—the year Ohio became an official state. The land changed hands again in 1810 when Samuel Ricker bought it for $584.
By 1828 Ricker had built the house you see here—a brick and stucco hybrid of styles, including Dutch Colonial. Its most distinguishing feature is a three-story onion-domed turret on the northeast side. A man named Everett Townsley, with a rags-to-riches backstory, bought the place from Ricker’s descendants in the late 1920s. During his tenure, exterior gingerbread trim was removed, the original front hall entry/parlor was converted into a walnut-paneled dining room, and the grand main staircase was demolished and replaced with a less assuming set of stairs in the living room.
By the time Wickham, his wife, and kids bought the place in 1992, it included just 10 acres and had gone through even more alterations. Wickham replaced new windows with the original painted ones he found on site, built an authentic-looking garage beside the house and a bridge over part of the property’s pond, and remodeled the kitchen so extensively that the place won a Better Homes and Gardens award in 2001.
The house, multiple outbuildings (including a caretaker’s home and a guest cottage that once stored apples), and the surrounding acreage are all for sale today for $999,900. Not quite the bargain Samuel Ricker got, but this time around the sale includes a fascinating pedigree.