DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP - Work crews started demolishing the historic Twenty Mile House in Warren County on Tuesday in preparation for building a gas station and convenience store at the site on the corner of Columbia Road and Ohio 3/U.S. 22.
Built in 1822, about 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati, the Twenty Mile House served as a stagecoach stop and even a temporary seat of state government. In modern times, it housed several restaurants under different owners.
The most recent owner, Jeff Black, bought it in 2004 but closed his restaurant in 2011. The building had been vacant since then.
A local group tried to find a buyer who would preserve the home but was unsuccessful.
The last of the fixtures – from the grand wooden fireplace mantle down to the sinks and toilets – were sold a few weeks ago in an online auction.
Plans submitted by Peabody Development of Lebanon call for a Big Mike's Gas N Go and a convenience store, Deerfield Township Administrator Bill Becker said.
"I'm just heartbroken," said Kim Grant, one of the nearby residents who organized more than two years ago to try to preserve to building. "The history of that building is unbelievable."
"When Jeremiah Morrow was governor of Ohio (1822-30), there was no governor's mansion, so he had an office there and held meetings there," Grant said. "Our research showed it may also have been part of the Underground Railroad, but we're not sure of that.
"It's such a treasure. It's really, really a shame that this is happening," she said.
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