A Wood working road trip #1: Piatt Castles in Ohio

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Blog entry by leafherder posted 09-22-2019 08:20 PM 671 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hi Lumberjocks,

I took some inspiration from my Lumberjocks Buddy and went on a Mark Wilson style caper yesterday – a roadtrip to the Piatt Castles in West Liberty Ohio. Two grand 19th century mansions built by a set of brothers. Stopped my little red car at Mac-A-Cheek first

Before you get excited my little red car is the Honda on the left – not the bright red sports car. Both castles are constructed of limestome which was quarried on the property, but being lumberjocks we’re interested in the woodwork on the inside. All wood was cut from trees on the property and sawn at the family mill. Wood used was all native hardwoods: Walnut, Hickory, Oak, Sugar Maple, etc.
Here are some of the rooms at Mac-A-Cheek the smaller of the two homes:

Now notice the detail in the original hardwood floors and those ceilings are hand painted.

Even the bathroom had custom woodwork:

And the doorways had extra details of stained glass

I took a closeup of one of the shelf units which was moved during a renovation:

And just in case you thought all the woodwork was inside, take a look at the original slat work on this stone shed

Next stop was the BIG house Mac-O-Chee – again that is my little red Honda in the lower left corner for scale.

Unfortunately my camera battery died while touring Mac-O-Chee so the only interior shot I got was this built in set of wooden file drawers about 7 feet tall by 4 feet wide. You need a stepladder to reach the top drawers

Unfortunately time has not been kind to Mac-O-Chee and it needs a lot of work to restore it so the family that runs the houses as historical museums is putting it up for auction next month.

Hope you enjoyed the tour and the awesome woodwork that made these houses special. Thanks for looking,

-- Leafherder

5 comments so far

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4004 days

#1 posted 09-22-2019 10:27 PM

Interesting to see the quality craftsmanship from the past.
So, what are you going to copy for your home? ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View leafherder's profile


1986 posts in 3161 days

#2 posted 09-22-2019 11:00 PM

Well Druid John, I could really use those built in file cabinets and bookshelves but since I’m a History major I have to maintain historical accuracy in my home so unfortunately none of these design ideas work with a mid-century modern suburban ranch house. I do have some knotty pine paneling and a few pieces of antique furniture from grandma that resemble some of the items in the castles (If you don’t look too close – Grandpa was a handyman not a newspaper mogul and ambassador to France like the Piatts). LOL

Thanks for reading.

-- Leafherder

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26628 posts in 4314 days

#3 posted 09-22-2019 11:40 PM

WOW, that is some woodworking. thanks for sharing!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2949 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 09-23-2019 04:29 AM

Your camera battery died? Knucklehead. Priority One, when embarking on a caper, is to check the power levels, night before, or, carry an extra battery, if not an extra camera. (I do both. But then, I am a well-seasoned caperor. Newbies must learn their own lessons. I have to go, now, and put my camera battery on its charger. Wait here a minute. (John’s head is spinning, right now, fellas. He knows why.)....... I’m back. Sorry I took so long. I started my laundry while I was in the house.

-- Mark

View bandit571's profile


29532 posts in 3892 days

#5 posted 09-24-2019 04:21 AM

I live just to the north of the castles…in Bellefontaine, OH.

Been through both quite a few times…..Family hopes the sale of the one castle will provide the funds to repair the other one. There is a fund-raiser going on now, to raise enough to buy the castle, and then keep it open for tours. There will also be an auction of “surplus” antiques. There is also a farm on the property for sale.

Was just down that way…West Liberty had their annual Tractor Fest on Labor Day….

About a 15 minute drive down County Road #1 ( Ludlow Rd) to get to the Big Castle….then go west towards town, the other one is on the south side of St Rt 245….almost hidden by the trees from the road.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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