Family History  |  Gatch Homes  |  Philip Gatch on Prehistory  |  Visit to Philip Gatch 1825
 

I. "The Stone House" or Forest Hill.
The stone house was built in 1815 by my great-great grandfather Thomas Gatch (1791-1859). His son Francis McCormick Gatch (1826-1887) was born and died there. My grandfather, Albert (1871-1940), owned it after the death of his mother in 1909; later it served as the residence for tenant farmers until my brother Philip (1935-2008) and later my parents lived there in the late twentieth century. Rendered uninhabitable by the proximity of an interstate highway, it now serves as the offices of a construction company.

The house overlooks US Route 50 and the bottoms of the East Fork of the Little Miami River.

a. A family reunion at the stone house in 1891. (Photo by William Melanchthon Gatch [1837-1926])

b. The stone house with its spring-house in 2011 from Route 50. (Photo by MMG)

c. Aerial photo of the stone house and barns between US Route 50 and Interstate 275, January 6, 2012. (Photo by Sharp Shooter Services)

d. Aerial photo looking south, January 6, 2012. The East Fork of the Little Miami River surrounds the now-industrialized bottoms. The cemetery, begun by Philip Gatch in 1799, is on raised ground at the right center, and the stone house is at the bottom in the triangle formed by the highways.
(Photo by Sharp Shooter Services)


II. The Maples (now on the National Register of Historic Places as "Pleasant Hill")
This farm had its origins in 1808 when it was acquired by Andrew Megrue (McGrew) to be the farm of his daughter Ann and Jacob Gest. The "little barn" and original house (see below the 1950 aerial, c) belong to this era. After 1820, there were several intermediary owners until the property was acquired by Thomas Gatch in 1837. He and his wife Lucinda McCormick may have lived there (giving the stone house to their son Francis McCormick and his family) until they moved to a house in the village of Milford in 1859, giving ownership of the Maples to Nathaniel, his eldest son (by a first marriage). Nathaniel apparently had financial difficulties and, near the time of his death, and his half-brother Francis negotiated the sale of the property to Enoch Gest Megrue, a collateral descendant of the first owners of the farm and chief of the fire department in Cincinnati. Enoch Megrue built the large Italianate Victorian house near the road and (reputedly as a rest home for fire horses from the city) the "big barn." After Megrue's death in 1882, the farm, then 165 acres, was sold to Ellsworth D. Haynes, formerly of Aurora, Indiana, who was an insurance executive in Cincinnati. After Haynes's death in 1919, the property passed to his daughter, Josephine, who had married Albert B. Gatch, the youngest son of Francis McCormick Gatch. In 1939, Josephine Gatch remodeled and modernized the house for her son Milton and his family. It went out of the family in 1960 when my parents found the increasing traffic on the road (State Route 131) intolerable.

a. The house from the fields to the north, c. 1899.

b. The Haynes family on the front porch of the house, c. 1899.

c. Aerial photograph of The Maples, 1950. The house and big barn are near the road. Halfway down the driveway are the little barn and attached corncribs; at the end of the drive is the original house of c. 1810.

d. The aerial photograph, January 6, 2012. The house and barn are engulfed in suburbia; the little barn had been moved to a historic park and the old house destroyed. (Photo by Sharp Shooter Services)