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 gallery of 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
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
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
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
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.