Dillon House offered for sale;
auction of contents planned
After much deliberation, the Board of Trustees of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center announced it will sell the 1873 Dillon House. The home is one of Fremont’s finest Victoria-era residences - an example of the Towered Second Empire design.
The Hayes Presidential Center purchased the home in October 1962. At the time, a lack of storage in the Hayes Museum became critical. The Center saw the Dillon House – located directly across the street – as the perfect answer. According to the Hayes Presidential Center’s 1962-1963 annual report, the upstairs of the house became storage for “three tons” of materials from the Hayes Museum. Additionally the report states, “Use of the main floor of the old residence has been made available to the Sandusky County Historical Society for use. The Society will assist in the restoration of the rooms in the Victorian style, and the main floor will, in due course, be open for public visitation.”
The intended partnership never materialized. That combined with the construction of two additions to the Hayes Museum in 1967, left the Dillon House in limbo. In the 1980s, the Center began opening the house for tours and eventually offering it as a rental facility for parties, meetings, and other gatherings. Dillon House Victorian Teas started in 1997 and continued until 2010, when the Dillon House was closed because expenses exceeded revenue.
The Dillon House was built by Charles and Anne Dillon. Anne’s father Ralph P. Buckland shared a legal practice with Rutherford B. Hayes from 1845-1849. Despite that connection to the 19th President, the depressed financial situation of the last few years necessitated that the Hayes Presidential Center review all of its operations. The Center is continuing its efforts to compensate for a 45 percent cut in its state funding.
“The Dillon House does not directly meet our stated Mission and in tough times cannot be supported,” said Executive Director Thomas Culbertson. “We hope that a buyer will come forward who will love the house and return it to its former glory.”
The Dillon House is listed with Wendt-Key Realty (contact Rob at 419-680-5027). The home's contents will be sold at a public auction scheduled for 12:27 p.m. Sunday, September 30 at the house (1329 Buckland Avenue, Fremont, Ohio). Click on this link to view auction information