|Address:||208 North Main Street|
|Architectural Style:||Gothic Revival; Italianate|
|Year Built:||c. 1838|
|Original Owner:||Samuel Israel|
The home was built about the time that Samuel Israel, its original owner, was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1838. The Israel family history is an impressive one in the county. Samuel Israel was born on October 8, 1810 in Westchester County, New York. A brick mason, he travelled west toward economic promise and found himself in Mount Vernon by 1830. Israel married Elizabeth Harper of Muskingum County on January 28, 1831 and the couple reared seven children (including Samuel H., for whom the neighboring house at 212 North Main Street was built). Though he was steadily employed as a brick mason, Israel, Sr. had dreams of becoming a lawyer. He worked for the building crew at Kenyon College in nearby Gambier for some time and would return home each night to be tutored in reading and higher education by his wife. Israel eventually became a member of the Knox County Bar and worked in partnership with Hon. Columbus Delano. Through hard work and determination, Israel became one of Mount Vernon’s leading lawyers. He was also involved with the construction of several local railroad lines in the city. Mr. Israel passed away on August 15, 1889, and his wife died three years later, on September 11, 1892.
The home, being one of the street’s few Gothic Revival structures, provides an interesting aspect to the area’s cultural fabric. Built around 1838, this small cottage has many Gothic Revival features, including a large hexagonal bay window decorated with brackets and 6-over-6 sash windows, door and window canopies with trefoil trim, and a rectangular bay with Gothic trim. The original door is surrounded by sidelights and transom, all of leaded red glass. The interior is well preserved and has been modernized with great restraint.