From a cracker factory to a law office, the property at 258 Miami Street, has played a rich part in the history of the Village of Waynesville.  The parcel is part of Lot Five of Franklin Square. It was platted in 1807, and acquired by Seth Haines in 1854.  Originally the parcel was host to a cracker factory.  In 1903 it was acquired by the Ohio Valley Telephone Company and for years the site was known as the telephone exchange.

The Ohio Valley Telephone Company became the Ohio Central Telephone Company, and in 1942, it conveyed the parcel to Emerson and Mary Earnhart. Mary was the telephone operator for the Village of Waynesville. Dottie Hawke a well-known third grade teacher at Waynesville Elementary worked her way through Wilmington College as an operator at the telephone exchange.

Ultimately, Ohio Central became United Telephone and moved to a location on North Street.  The property became a private residence when Walt Frasure acquired it.  Walt said one day he went to the post office and saw that there was an auction across the street.  He went over to observe and bought the property.  He sold it to Pastor Walter Lamb and his wife, Faye, in 1973. The Lamb’s ran a record store in the building. In the upstairs back room Walter installed carpet similar in color to the carpet in his church.  On one wall he hung white paneling, and used the room to practice his sermons.  The carpet and the wall exist to this day.

In 1973 the Lambs sold the property to Carlos and Betty Rice who used the property as a private residence until 1979, when they sold it to Michael Foley.  It has been the site of the law office of Michael E. Foley from 1979 until today.  From 1980-1987, Michael and his wife Leanne lived upstairs.  The Foleys removed the aluminum siding and have attempted to have the property reflect the historic charm of the Village of Waynesville.

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

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