Monday, January 24, 2011

Naturally Kirtland Part I - The Vineyard House has Thyme for you

The oldest stone structure in Lake County stands at 9019 Kirtland Chardon Road in Kirtland, Ohio. Known as the Vineyard House, it was built in 1841 by Henry Earl, a Lake County farmer. This sandstone dwelling has an interesting story to share.  Earl built his farmhouse on Pierson's Knob, the second highest point in the newly established Lake County (1840).  After over sixty years, the farm was purchased by a Benjamin Hubbell in the 1900's.  Hubbell was the designer of the Cleveland Museum of Art and several other notable Cleveland buildings.  He quickly added vineyards to the surrounding thirty acres and a stable for his racehorses.  In time,  Hubbell added a master bedroom and a rear porch to his newly named Vineyard House.  Hubbell, who also was the architect of The West Side Market, used two carved stone pieces from the market as corners for his fireplace.  In 1962, the Vineyard House became the home of the Residence Director of the Red Oak Camp.  After more than one hundred years the property was acquired by the Holden Arboretum. The year 1988 marked the final chapter in the story of the Vineyard House.  It become the permanent home of the Herb Society of America, Inc.

The Herb Society of America began in Boston.  In 1933, six women were studying Botany and Horticulture under a Dr. Edgar Anderson at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University.  By August of that same year, the herb society was formed in the Ipswich, Massachusetts home of Mrs. Albert (Anne) Burrage. Major horticultural projects in Boston and Washington DC followed.  Research and educational libraries grew and by 1988 a search for a national headquarters was underway.  The house that Earl built and Hubbell enhanced proved to be the choice.  Acquired from the Holden Arboretum, The Herb Society of America, Inc. moved into the house in 1988.  Today, its libraries and educational outreach programs are shared by members and public alike.  You may stop by and visit during the hours of 9am-5pm any Monday through Thursday.  The Herb Society of America will make Thyme for You!

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