The Oakwood Historical Society Homestead
The Homestead is the headquarters for the Oakwood Historical Society and is located at 1947 Far Hills Avenue. Situated on two acres of park-like grounds, the homestead is one of the earliest homes built in Oakwood and the longest continuously occupied by one family (1863-1985). The homestead was bequeathed to the Oakwood Historical Society in 1985 upon the death of Ethel Romspert. The parcel contains two homes, 1947 and 1945 Far Hills Avenue. The Ohio Historical Society approved the Homestead for the National Registry of Historic Places in June 1987.
Renovation at the Homestead:
For the full galleryof homestead pictures including before and in progress pictures, select the picture below.
The History of the Homestead:
Henry Long came by covered wagon to Van Buren Township (now parts of Dayton, Kettering, and Oakwood) in 1828. He married Harriet Shroyer in 1843. In 1856, Long purchased 160 acres for $280. The land extended from Lebanon Pike (today Far Hills Avenue) west to Ridgeway Road and from Peach Orchard Road north to Ashridge Road. Henry Long farmed part of the land and ran a quarry and sand pit on another part of the property (today near Coolidge Dr.). Long supplied the gravel from his quarry to pave Lebanon Pike, and in 1875 he constructed a toll gate at the edge of his property charging people to use the common route.
In 1863, Long started work on the original part of the Homestead. He used brick made from a kiln located on Peach Orchard Avenue and timber from the local area. He added a summer kitchen behind the house. Today, the summer kitchen has an operational original water pump and open-hearth fireplace.
Henry and Harriet Long had five children. They both died in 1896, and the farm was divided among the children. The children got married and had families of their own. Laura Romspert stayed on the Homestead, and a second home at 1945 Far Hills Avenue was added in 1902 for the growing family. Then in the 1920s, the family added an addition to the north side of the original home. Because the building contractor could not match the original red brick, the whole home was covered in stucco. The front porch, running water, and electricity were added to the home at this time.
The family purchased and sold parcels of land around Oakwood including parts of their own homestead along Ridgeway Road. The quarry continued to supply the sand and gravel for many of the Oakwood roads and homes. The quarry closed in the 1940s. That land was sold off, and builders constructed homes along Coolidge Dr. in the late 1940s through the 1950s.
Ethel Romspert, granddaughter-in-law of Henry and Harriet Long, left the two Long Romspert properties to the Oakwood Historical Society in 1985. The 17 room home is unique because it maintains its architecture in the original half of the home (mid-19th century Victorian Italianate farmhouse) and represents early 20th century suburban Arts & Crafts architecture on the north side addition. Furnishings in the Homestead have been donated by Oakwood citizens or loaned from the Montgomery County Historical Society (now Dayton History).
The Oakwood Historical Society is implementing a long range plan to restore the Homestead and the adjacent property. Area residents and Oakwood High School students strip wallpaper, paint, and complete other home improvement projects under the direction of the Facilities Chair for the Oakwood Historical Society.
Contact us for tours, to volunteer to help restore, or to donate a piece of furniture or household furnishing to the Homestead. The Homestead may also be used free of charge as a meeting space for area organizations and small groups.