“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cloverdale in Putnam County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870

Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, April 20, 2022
1. Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker
Inscription.  Home in the wilderness 1821-1870. Built in 1821 downstream a quarter mile on the Auglaize west bank by Sebastian Sroufe, War of 1812 veteran, and wife Mary, this home was postal stop Sugar Grove on the Ft. Recovery-Ft. Defiance route and in 1828, Perry Township organization meeting site. On January 24, 1829, Sebastian was appointed the first postmaster in Putnam County.

Seven years after Sebastian's death in 1830, Mary wed Judge John Perkins, Brunersburg Mill owner, and leased her Auglaize River home. Pearson B. holden, Christian Union Church pastor, and wife, Priscilla (Ridenour) were operating this double log home as a tavern housing up to thirty travelers a night in 1846, when Henry Howe sketched the Home-In-The-Wilderness for his Historical Collections of Ohio.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1826.
Location. 41° 1.168′ N, 84° 17.222′ W. Marker is near Cloverdale, Ohio, in Putnam County. Marker is at the intersection of Ohio Route 114 and Ohio Route 694, on the right when traveling north on State
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Route 114. Located in a roadside park on the east side of the road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cloverdale OH 45827, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Samuel Myers, Sr., Grist Mill 1834-1860 (a few steps from this marker); Kalida Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.8 miles away); Kalida (approx. 5 miles away); a different marker also named Kalida (approx. 5.2 miles away); Welcome To Pioneer Park (approx. 5.2 miles away); Pioneer Days Mural (approx. 5.2 miles away); Artist Emerson Burkhart (approx. 5.2 miles away); First Putnam County Government Seat / Court Houses (approx. 5.2 miles away).
More about this marker. A beautiful spot, known as The Cascades.
Regarding Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870. HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF OHIO by Henry Howe. p. 465

"The view, 'A Home in the Wilderness' represents a log tavern in the western part of the county, on the road to Charloe. It was built about thirty years since by two men, assisted by a female. It has long been a favorite stopping-place for travellers, as many as twenty or thirty having, with their horses, frequently tarried here over night, when journeying through the wilderness. The situation is charming. It is on the banks of the Auglaize, which flows in a ravine some fifteen or twenty feet below. All around stand massive trees, with foliage luxuriantly developed by the virgin fertility of
Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Baker, January 12, 2017
2. Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker
the soil, while numerous branches lave in the passing waters. We came suddenly upon the place on a pleasant day in June, 1846, and were so much pleased with its primitive simplicity and loveliness as to stop and make a more familiar acquaintance. We alighted from our fatihful 'Pomp' turned him loose among the fresh grass, drew our portfolio from our saddle-bags, and while he was rolling amid the clover in full liberty, and the ladies of the house were seated sewing in the open space between the parts of the cabin, fanned by a gentle breeze--we took a sketch as a memorial of a scene we shall never forget, and to present to our readers a view of "A Home in the Wilderness."

"The foregoing comprises about all my old account of Putnam county. Indeed, the entire county then was largely forest and water. The most interesting point is my picture of the 'Home in the Wilderness.' That picture proved to be one of the most attractive things in my old book. It seemed to touch a chord in the hearts of multitudes who had begun life in the midst of such scenes. It is noteworthy that now, after the lapse of forty-three years, I should receive a letter from a stranger, a then boy, who sat by my side when I drew that picture, which tells me all the circumstances, but which I had long since forgotten."
His letter is from Dawn, Darke county, Ohio, dated April 2, 1889,
Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Baker
3. Home-In-The-Wilderness 1821-1870 Marker
Here is the drawing Howe made of this house and setting.
and signed S.S. Holden. It gives some interesting things about the old home, long since vanished. It was prompted partly by learning that the painter of an oil painting of it had put in the claim that his painting was an original design of his own.
We quote:
"I am by profession a minister of the Gospel, of the United Brethren Church (in Christ). I will be qualified that the picture on your letter-head is a picture of the man who drew the sketch of our home about the year 1846. I am a son of P.B. Holden, whose name appears on the sign as you drew it. I was then 14 years old, and recollect it about as vividly as if it had occurred but yesterday--your riding into the yard on horseback; getting off your horse; laying your paper, pencils, etc. about you on the old sled or mud boat, which lay in the yard at that time, and is shown in the picture, and watching you draw the scene. Such an occurrence was too rare not to make an impression on a boy like me. A man named Sebastian Srouge built the house. He died and was buried near there. Two of his sons were named George and Albert--the latter was a school teacher. His widow married Judge Perkins, and they moved to Williams county. While you were making the sketch, my mother and a lady school teacher sat in the open space between the two rooms, sewing. Before you had completed it my brother and a Mr. Whiting came through the yard
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where we were sitting, having been to a deer lick; One of them carried his gun at trail arms and the other carried his gun on his shoulder, and with them was our dog Tyler. It was well the dog was along. His name marks the era of the event and helps to confirm the truth of Mr. Holden's statement. The hard-cider campaign had only passed a few years before, when the old Whigs had sung "For Tippecanoe and Tyler too." Hence it was natural for them to thus name their dogs "Tip" for Tippecanoe and "Tyler" for Tyler too. Humor comes from incongruous associations so Mark Twain named his jumping frog Daniel Webster--both were heavy-weights: one from brains and brawn, the other from shot. The "Home" was on the main route from Kalida to Charloe, about five miles northwest of the former. The Samuel Holden, who lived there as stated, was an United Brethren clergyman. So the home seemed to have done service as both parsonage and tavern. Later, as I have been told, the Rev. Branson Good made it his home, and the building stood until about thirty years since. Since receiving the letter from his son, I find in the Pioneer Reminiscences of the county a statement by Mr. George Skinner which leads me to believe that this was the first house built in Putnam County. He says: "The first building that could be designated a house was erected by two men and a woman in section 21, Perry township, by Sebastian Sroufe." He then states it was on the Auglaize, and that he was buried close by.
Additional commentary.
One of my favorite markers, for a variety of reasons, including the beauty of the area mentioned, and that it references Henry Howe.
    — Submitted December 9, 2014, by Michael Baker of Lima, Ohio.

Additional keywords. Home Wilderness Henry Howe
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 9, 2014, by Michael Baker of Lima, Ohio. This page has been viewed 846 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on April 21, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio.   2. submitted on January 15, 2017, by Michael Baker of Lima, Ohio.   3. submitted on December 9, 2014, by Michael Baker of Lima, Ohio. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.

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May. 29, 2023