John Shaw bought the land from Hezekiah Saunders on January 31, 1815 for $600.  This amount of money, considered a large sum at the time, indicates that there probably were other buildings and a well on this one acre property.  Levi Lukens bought the entire lot in November, 1815 and tax records showed that he owned it in 1827.  The house was built in two sections.  The rear section (the kitchen and two upstairs rooms) was built by Quaker school teacher and farmer Charles R. Mills in 1846.  Mr. Mills was part of the family of original settlers that moved here from Bush River, South Carolina in the early 1800’s.  The entire lot and house was sold to Jonathan Mills in 1848. According to the 1860 census, Jonathan, his wife Charity, and their two children plus two other men also lived here.  The men were 79 year old John Cook from South Carolina and James Stewart age 30, born in Virginia. It is suspected that they were freed slaves living here and working as hired hands for the Mills family.  William Retallick and his family, who emigrated from England, lived in this house after 1851. William was a brick and stone mason.  The front of the house was added in 1864.  Prior to the Retallick’s ownership, Quaker families owned the house and did not celebrate the Christmas holiday.  The Christmas tree custom was introduced into Waynesville in 1869. Since the Retallicks were English and worshiped at the Methodist Church, they most probably celebrated Christmas with a tree.  Hence, a decorated Christmas tree likely first graced this home in 1869. 

‚Äč

© The Waynesville Area Heritage & Cultural Center at The Friends Home, Inc., 2013

Proudly created with Wix.com

Call us:

513-897-1607

Find us: 

115 S. 4th Street, P.O. Box 12,

Waynesville, Ohio 45068