107ewigginb

Address: 107 East Wiggin Street
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Year Built: c. 1855
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Unknown

This house was built Whither family sometime around the 1860s, and was occupied by that family until the property was purchased by William Fish in 1883.  Fish was born in 1813 in Lancashire, Englad, and in his youth was apprenticed to a stone mason.  He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1849, landing in New York.  He made his way westward to Ohio, working primarily in the larger cities of Cleveland and Akron when in the fall of 1857 he was granted the contract to build Ascension Hall at Kenyon College.  Construction of this building took two years.  Once it was complete, Fish took on the task of building a home for Bishop O'Dell.  Fish received additional contracts in the Gambier area, which compelled him to remain in the village for another nine years. His expertise as a first-class stone cutter quickly spread throughout central Ohio, and he received several large contracts in Columbus.  Fish established the first stone sawmill in 1868 soon after he moved his family to that city.  The previous year he had formed the Fish & Sons stone company with his sons William and Alfred.  The name changed to Fish Stone Company in 1888.  Fish built many of the finest buildings in Columbus in that day, most notably Trinity Episcopal Church.  He also constructed the Columbus city hall, the Huntington, Hayden, and Deshler Bank buildings, and even contributed toward much of the construction of the Ohio State Penitentiary.  Part of Fish's success lied in the fact that he owned several different stone quarries at various sites throughout the state.  This allowed him quick, easy access to quality stone no matter if he was working in Columbus, Gambier, Cleveland, or elsewhere.  Following a trip home in 1883, he and his son Alfred established the Fish Pressed Brick Company in connection to their stone business.  The sector of the company specialized in manufacturing shale brick, which greatly added to the family construction enterprise.  Fish Pressed Brick was the first company in the United States to manufacture bricks using crushed shale, a trend that quickly took hold in this country shortly after its introduction to this country.  Fish died on April 13, 1891 at the age of 78.

It is not clear how this house developed its unique appearance, but it has two distinct styles that provide a clue.  The small, 2-bay gable end part of the house was most likly built before the larger, Colonial Revival section that now makes up the majority of the building.  It is possible that the two sections of the house were built at or around the same time.  The gable front section has a Greek Revival feel to it, and is very symmetrical with two windows on the first floor and a single, central window at the peak which is topped with a triangular hoodmold.  The roof on the Colonial Revival section of the home is perhaps the most unique feature of this house.  It is a Dutch slice-hip roof, a cross between a gambrel and a jerkinhead design.  Four gabled wall dormers project from the front of the house.  All the roofs on this building and the two additional buidlings on the property are covered with slate shingles.  The main entrance to the house, facing Wiggin Street, is covered by a small porch with a hip roof, which is supported by simple square columns.  This porch, along with the large bay window on the west elevation, are later 20th century additions to the home.

107ewigginc

 


Gambier District

District Properties