Vietzen Family Homestead Demolished – Acquisition Update

The original Vietzen Family Homestead outlived Col. and Mrs. Vietzen’s house and museum by more than 15 years.  The original Homestead and barn were demolished March 28, 2017.  Col. Nahorn visited the site to document this historic event.  Some background history ought to be presented for future documentation: 

The original Vietzen Family Homestead on the West Ridge in Elyria, as seen in August 2016.

John Vietzen and Friederika Vietzen came to the United States c. 1868 from Northern Germany.  Their son, Frederick Vietzen (b. 1864, was about 4 years of age when his parents brought him to America) then married Elise Von Zimmerman c. 1890, inhabiting the Vietzen family homestead on West Ridge Road, at that time.  The house may have (likely) been built before this date, and the Vietzens then purchased it in 1890.  This is noted because, upon further inspection, a few structural beams were hand-hewn, bolstering the opinion that the structure likely pre-dated the 1890 inhabitation by the first of the Vietzen family.  The location was 8772 West Ridge Road, Elyria (originally Township), on the west side of the East Marsh, a remnant of an ancient glacial lake fragment.  The fragment – a representation of a time when the lake was much further south than today, thousands of years ago. 

The Vietzen Family Homestead barn was remodeled and enlarged c. 1913.

Raymond Vietzen, the 7th of 8 children of Frederick and Elise Vietzen, grew up at this Homestead.  He later purchased the corner lot at 8714 West Ridge Road from his parents.  More precisely, located on the corner of West Ridge and Fowl Roads, where he and his wife Ruth built their home and Indian Ridge Museum in 1930.  The Museum closed and disbanded in 1995 with the passing of Col. Vietzen, and their homestead was demolished in late 2000.

A unique door knob that was in the original Vietzen Homestead.

The original Vietzen family house and barn, where Raymond grew up, was in the Vietzen family for many years, and Col. Nahorn had the opportunity to visit this original Homestead on August 16, 2016, when it was being offered for sale.  The house was in disrepair and rough shape at that time.  On March 28, 2017, Col. Nahorn was contacted by Bruce Bishop, photographer, of the Chronicle-Telegram, who alerted us of the demolition of the House.  Diane Nahorn and Col. Nahorn made a quick jaunt out to the property and gained permission to enter the property via Gregory Trucking, the company in charge of the demolition.  The house was demolished at the time of our arrival, but material was still strewn about as the area was in the stages of clean up, and a few bricks and such were collected from the site for preservation.  The sandstone block foundation was still in place. A sandstone well-cover still in-situ in the basement, was evidenced as well.

A well with sandstone cover that was in the basement of the house.

A link to a Chronicle-Telegram article highlights the demolition of the structure.  However, for the most recent research, please refer to the history recorded in the information posted above on our Museum website.

Acquisition Update:

On March 29th, we were contacted by Gregory Trucking after we had expressed interest in preserving the sandstone well-cover at the New Indian Ridge Museum (as seen above).  They agreed to donate it, and we are very thankful for their generosity.  On March 30th, Bill and Matt Nahorn loaded and moved the stone to the New Indain Ridge Museum at the Historic Shupe Homestead.  A special thank you to Gregory Trucking for this important donation so that this piece of history may be preserved for the future with other Vietzen Homestead artifacts.

Just before we loaded the original sandstone well-cover from the Vietzen family homestead for preservation at the New Indian Ridge Museum.