The Gingerbread House, Weymouth

In 1850’s Weymouth, a small rural town where “in town” was over an hour away and everybody knew everybody, almost every house looks alike. But one prominent wealthy family that lived in the town decided to change that. A victorian and gothic style house set among the other barns and plain houses soon emerged. Many influential families lived in the remarkable house throughout its history. One noteworthy person was Norton Wright Welton, a man who continued west to Colorado and became one of the founders of Denver. This house was the Gingerbread House, named for its ornate trim. It was built in 1851 by William Harrison Seymour who was one of the first settlers to arrive in Medina. Seymour’s family came to the United States in 1817 to search for more economic opportunities and freedom. Seymour’s parents, Lathrop and Betsy, plus their seven children, moved from Connecticut to Medina, Ohio because of the national trend of moving west. Expansionism was spreading across the country as more and more people packed up all of their belongings and relocated. A neighbor from down the street from the Seymour’s new house, Ruth O. Chaffe and William became friends and later fell in love. When they married, they decided to build a house in between both of their houses which became too small and led to the creation of the Gingerbread house. William drew from Victorian England and gothic styles when designing the house which were inspired by his time spent in New England while attending Yale. The family lived in the small two room house until the birth of their third child in 1862 when they moved to Michigan for more land and money. This house lays on a straight line from the East coast to the west, a trail that thousands followed in hopes of striking it rich in the unknown West. Almost every family that lived in the house followed the same path to create their future.

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Audio

Architectural analysis of the Gingerbread House
The current resident of the Gingerbread House and expert on Weymouth history, Susan McKiernan, speaks of the processes that made the Gothic design of the house possible.
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