House of Four Pillars
322 East Broadway.
Built in 1835, this home was transformed into a Greek Revival house most likely by itinerant "column workers" in 1844. That's right, a group of craftsmen traveled from town to town by horse drawn wagon and offered to put custom columns on your home for a fee.
Arthur Henry, editor of the Toledo Blade and his wife, Maude, a pioneering woman reporter, owned the house briefly in the 1890's. A famous visitor to the house during that time was Theodore Drieser who reportedly wrote the first chapters of his controversial novel, Sister Carrie, during his stay. During the early 20th century, the house was owned by John Ormand, a Toledo attorney and Maumee civic leader, who was instrumental in bringing the Carnegie Library to Maumee. After Ormand's death, the house sat empty for several years and fell into disrepair. It was restored to its present grandeur by the William M. Hankins family in the 1950's.
The House of Four Pillars is on the National Register of Historic Places. Rumor has it this home was part of the Underground Railroad. Toledo was one of the most important layovers for slaves escaping to freedom prior to the Civil War. Being a part of the Underground Railroad, our region was a direct link from Kentucky and Indiana to Michigan and Canada. Lucas and Wood counties had a very strong underground railroad, mainly operated by Quakers who provided food, shelter, water and directions to the next station.
Many stories weren’t recorded until 50 years later, but there are many homes in our area said to be part of the Underground Railroad. In this particular case, escaping slaves made their way to this house from the Maumee River through a deep ravine which led to the basement.
READ MORE about the sale of this house in 1996 here...