The Bexley Historical Society’s mission, in part, is “to preserve items relevant to the heritage of the Bexley community.” It’s fitting that this dedicated group of volunteers saved a historic 1920’s home within “inches” of demolition, thanks in part to a swimming pool.
This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the David H. Madison Community Pool. When the old pool was razed, the architects and construction workers used the Caretaker’s Cottage on Jeffrey Mansion grounds as their office. The plan was to demolish the long-vacant structure after completion of the pool.
Meanwhile, the Bexley Historical Society had functioned out of a small room in city hall with files, photos and artifacts stored in various places in city hall and Jeffrey Mansion.
With Jeffrey mansion requiring that storage space for it’s own use, the Bexley Historical Society needed a new home. Barbara Hysell, then president of the Society, approached Mayor Madison with the idea of moving into the Jeffrey Mansion Caretaker’s Cottage.
The Bexley Historical Society Founder and Cottage Director, Edie May Herrel, spoke to City Council, who approved the decision to lease the cottage to the Historical Society.
The Historical Society appreciates that Mayor Madison and Barbara Hysell had the foresight to see the potential of the property. Through many donations of time and materials, volunteers made much needed repairs and upgrades to the structure. The society welcomed their first visitors on July 4, 2006 at an Open House.
However, as all owners of older homes know, the work is never done. Recently, the City of Bexley made several improvements to the building. They removed overgrown shrubbery from the west side of the house and replanted the area. the mailbox was cemented into place and board member Glenn Soden painted it. The back porch was upgraded with new low-rise concrete steps and a hand railing.
Plans are under way, by the Society, to remove and replace rotten wood cornices, repair the front porch, and re-glaze some windows.
As the Bexley Historical Society celebrates 10 year in its current home, the board thanks all those who have helped save and improve the cottage.
Originally published in Historical Herald, Spring 2016
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