Considered Palatial Residence in 1807
Dwelling is Newport’s Oldest
Undated and unnamed newspaper article
By Helen M. White Of The News Staff
scattered squatters’ cabins were located in the area of Newport, Washington County,
O., when the first settlers established permanent homes here in 1798.
Ebenezer Battelle and his son, Capt. Ebenezer Battelle, came to the settlement
in 1802 and located on the land which Capt. Battelle later platted for the village of Newport.
arrival the Battelle men soon had ground cleared of its dense growth of virgin
timber and a large home erected.
dwelling, said to be the first substantial house built in Newport, was a sturdy, two-story building
constructed of hewed logs and was considered to be quite a palatial residence
in its day.
1807 Capt. Battelle married Mary, the daughter of John Greene, another early
pioneer to the area, it was to this fine show-place of a home that he took his
Time has proved with what care and skill this house was
built over a century and a half ago as it is still standing today, one of the
oldest buildings in Washington
Battelles Sold Property
to Dr. George Gale of Newport,
the house remained in the Battelle family until the 1870s. About this time the family fell into
financial difficulties and sold the property consisting of about 1,000 acres
and the dwelling, to Capt. Jack Harrison.
owner, Dye Arkey Dye, made extensive additions and changes to the old
He built a
frame addition onto the left end of the original log dwelling and a stone
addition in the rear.
years the structure has been improved and modernized, the logs have been
covered with weather boarding and the interior sealed.
addition built by Dye was first used for additional living space, but when the
old property was purchased in 1908 by the Gale sisters, Alcinda, Raebael, and
Ellen, they converted this wing into a private chapel
Fine Furnishings For Chapel
was specially built for the chapel which was adorned with candlesticks and a
handsome, large statues, one of Christ and one of the Virgin, were sent the
maiden ladies, for their chapel by a nephew then living in Cincinnati.
chapel would seat about 15 to 20 worshipers, Dr. Gale said. Since there is no Catholic Church in Newport, Mass was recited
from time to time in the chapel by priests from nearby parishes.
Archbishop Swint Held Mass
recalled that Archbishop Swint celebrated the Mass in the chapel on at least
one occasion when he was conducting a week’s mission in Newport.
historic old house is now the property of Dr. Gale’s son, Dr. Larry Gale, who
is in practice with his father in Newport.
the old dwelling is empty and the tiny chapel dismantled except for the benches
and the bare altars.
Gale has not decided just what he will do with the property, according to his
father, but he did not want the old home with its historic background and
family associations to fall into the hands of strangers, his father added.