Address: 407 Gaskin Avenue
Architectural Style: Vernacular
Year Built: c. 1860
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Unknown

The original owner of the house is unknown.  By 1871 it was owned by W. Polk, and by 1896 was transferred to Gambier storekeeper William Oliver.  Oliver was born on August 3, 1810 in England.  He began working in mercantilism at the age of 14.  Two years later in 1826 he began to work for his father in a flouring mill.  He was 27 years old when he married his wife Sophia Harris, who was also a native of England.  Oliver continued to work for his father until 1840, when he and his wife immigrated to Gambier to take charge of the mills there.  After three years of working in the mills he bought a farm in Monroe Township, but he did not move his family there until three years after that in 1846.  He lived as a farmer and butcher on that property until 1861, when he moved his family back to Gambier.  Oliver continued to farm, but primarily worked as a butcher for the village.  In 1865 started a grocery store.  He became so successful as a merchant that he opened a second store, and in 1866 ceased his farming operation to devote his time to butchering and the grocery stores.  Oliver is listed as living in Canfield Cottage in 1896, so it is likely that this house was used as a rental property.

It is a typical example of a simple gable front house, a working-class design commonly built throughout the 19th century.  Front gable houses like this one commonly stand at one and one-half stories.  They have a central entrance flanked by single windows, with a single window placed high beneath the eaves.  There is a wide, full-length porch protecting the entrance, with a series of four delicate spindle columns supporting its hip roof, suggesting that this was perhaps a later addition.  A chimney rises up through the middle of the house, with a secondary chimney at the rear.



Gambier District

District Properties