The arrival of Charles Clement Jennings in 1840 began a long and storied history in Lake County. Arriving the same year as the formation of our county, Jennings purchased 300 acres of timeberland from Colonel Storres of the Connecticut Land Company. From this modest start the Jennings Farm would become one of the county's most unique histories.
As the years progressed his family grew. Jennings decided to build a home as a gift for his daughter Frances' wedding in 1868. Three years and $75,000 later the Casement House was dedicated in 1870 to Frances and her husband Civil War General Jack S. Casement. It was a Victorian styled home with a unique partitioned floor plan that made all three floors identical in size and structure. Murals, ornate ceilings as well as heat and light systems were installed. Even a air conditioning system was made possible. The work of many skilled men of the day made this a truly impressive estate. Peter Shelby and Charles W. Heard were the two leading builders / designers. The home remained in the family thru 1953. Robert W. Sidley became only the fourth owner of the home and it remains today in his family and is used as a corporate headquarters for his business. The 300 acres have been repurposed and the history of the property remains intact. Visitors are welcomed at the Casement House and once there can learn the story of General Jack, Francis a foundling member of the suffrage movement and their famous guest Susan B. Anthony.
The story of the Casement House and a look at important heritage homes in Fairport Harbor, Madison and Unionville are part of a Lake Metroparks Bus Tour on October 13th. Included on the tour are Ladd's Tavern, The Arcola House, The Huntington site and more. Visit www.lakemetroparks.com for tour information about many of the upcoming history events.