A Delicious Taste Of History, Intrigue and Hospitality, continued
The Pomeroy House then became the summer home of Dr. Harlan Pomeroy’s family. Harlan and Frances Pomeroy had two children; Lawrence & Gertrude. Gertrude never married. She became a freelance writer and lived in the Pomeroy House until 1963, when she retired to Florida.
Gertrude left the house vacant and it quickly began to decline. The house took on the persona of “the old creepy place on the corner.” Neighborhood kids would often dare each other to sneak into the house to find “the Pomeroy House Ghost.”
Being a prominent part of Strongsville’s history, many citizens did not want “The Homestead” destroyed. Thus, in 1966, while preparing for the town’s sesquicentennial celebration, the Strongsville Women’s League undertook a program to open the house for viewing. The whole community became involved. The Farm Bureau donated fertilizer for the yard and the hardware store gave paint for the fence, which the Boy Scouts painted. The Key Club trimmed trees and cleared the yard. Many in the community helped with repairs of “The Homestead.”An area antique dealer loaned period furniture to fill out the rooms.
Hundreds of residents continued to work on a variety of plans to save the house. However, years later the house once again slumped into a deteriorated state. The cellar had filled with water, vandals had destroyed the beautiful mahogany stairway, floors were warped, windows were broken, and graffiti was scrawled on the interior walls. In fact, someone had even knocked holes through the double layers of the brick walls.
In spite of all this mistreatment, the old “Homestead” built by the Pomeroys refused to cave in and fall down. In June of 1975, the Pomeroy House was entered on the National Register of Historical Places. It was at that point the long time local restaurateur Don Strang, Jr. began to realize and understand the location, its history and its potential to the future population of Strongsville.
Attention to detail of the restoration process is evident by the amount of time spentjust sorting through old bricks that had fallen from the house. About six thousand bricks were salvaged and used in the lobby portion of the restaurant and in construction of the ledge going down to the Pub.
The mortar was chemically tested so that it could be duplicated for on-site repointing. The main portion of the work centered on the construction of additional support to the structure which was originally built with 4 x 4 beams. The sagging roof and columns holding up the porch on the South wing were completely reconstructed.
The next time you visit Don’s Pomeroy House, notice the interior woodwork around the doors and windows, it is the original woodwork from 1847. (If the woodwork could only talk!) Though badly waterlogged, it was totally salvageable. The stair rail going to the second floor, however, is not original. It was recreated from a single original intact spindle found floating in water of the flooded cellar.
A significant part of the restoration of the original house was the construction of the main dining room wing on the West side (known to patrons as the Library). Much care was taken to enhance the look of the property to match the period. Thus, after months of searching, the renovation team was able to obtain large cherry panels for the ceiling and wainscoting in the Library, plus for paneling behind the bar in the Pub. These came from an old estate in Pittsburgh, and were originally imported from England. Each of these pieces was painstakingly dismantled and installed with great craftmanshipin the Pomeroy House.
Just outside the lobby, take a moment to read through the Ohio historical marker from the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and OhioHistorical Society. It was dedicated in 2003 and was part of a program to highlight significant Ohio people and places for the state’s 200th birthday. The marker highlights the Pomeroy’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. It’s true, a lot has happened in the Pomeroy House over the years – in fact, some staff members have reported ghostly images late in the evening.
On March 12th, 1980, Don’s Pomeroy House Restaurant was officially opened to rave reviews. Since opening, the Strang Corporation has held constant vigilance in keeping Don’s Pomeroy House true to its tradition of hospitality, good times and the ongoing efforts to maintain this National Landmark. The Pomeroy House is at its splendor – with the addition of the Library, the Pub, the Lobby, and the establishment of the outdoor Patio.
Now Don’s Pomeroy House is home to the finest quality fare and best hospitality in the area. Guests enjoy dining on the main floor in the Library, the Old Dining Room, the Parlor, the Study or downstairs in the Pub. The upstairs bedrooms have been converted into private dining rooms. In the summer months, dining outdoors on the Patio can give one a true sense of what it was like to be out on the Strongsville “Public Square” back in the old days. We look forward to having you and your friends here often.