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National Register


3 Landmarks nominated for National Register

Regional News, name of newspaper not shown; the date of July 12, 1979 is written in ink.

Three Washington County landmarks are being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, according to David L. Taylor, Regional Historic Preservation Officer at the Ohio Historical Society’s Regional Preservation Office at Ohio University-Zanesville.

They are the Waernicke-Hille House and Store, located in rural Independence Township, and the Mason House, located at Coal Run, near Beverly. 

The Waernicke-Hille House (1865) at Archer’s Fork was the first brick house erected in Independence Township and was built by Ernest Waernicke (1831-1872) a German tobacco producer and processor.  He was in partnership with Augustus Hille (1844-1918) another German who purchased the home and farm after Waernicke’s death.  In 1874, a post office was established for the Archer’s Fork community and Hille was named postmaster.  Shortly thereafter he erected a wood frame store nearby and housed the post office and community store therein. 

Hille remained postmaster until his death in 1918.  From that time until the post office as closed in 1949, his daughter Ida Elizabeth “Bessie” Hille (1897-1962) was postmistress.  Thus the father-daughter combination served the community for 75 years—the entire life of the post office—an occurrence probably unique in Ohio.  The present owners are Dr. and Mrs. Richard Hille of Marietta.  Dr. Hille is the grandson of Augustus Hille. 

The other nominated property, the Mason House, was built in 1802 along the Muskingum River just north of the Coal Run community.  Its significance lies in the fact that it is an intact, little-altered version of the “saltbox house” a New England folk house type.  It remains essentially unaltered and in its original state.  It has been owned by the Mason family since the mid-19th century.  Currently it is owned by Horatio Mason.

The National Register of Historic places is a list, maintained by the U. S. Department of the Interior of the Nation’s cultural resources which are historic for their architecture, history, or archaeology on a local, state or national level.  The nomination was prepared according to Ohio’s statewide plan to identify and document historic properties which qualify for National Register status under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Any property’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in no way affects an individual owner’s property rights.  Rather, it serves to draw attention to the nation’s visible cultural heritage and also affords owners to take advantage of several provisions to encourage preservation.

The National Register provides for limited protection against demolition of a listed property by a federally sponsored or licensed project; it also entitles property owners to apply for a 50 per cent matching grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior to aid in the preservation of their property.

Also, there are several important tax benefits for owners of income producing National Register properties.