867 E Smith Road

The land that makes up America today was once a very empty place, when the homes and other facilities did not exist. When Medina county was developed in 1818, the township was a clear example of this bareness. Prominent Medina resident Roscoe Ewing didn’t build his house until World War II. The land that 867 East Smith Road was first located on was in Montville Township when the fields were vast farmland.The land changed hands several times through the 1800s during Westward Expansion. As Medina County experienced rapid industrialism, the section of property that Akron Road, what we now call Route 18, was sold off into smaller lots. New inventions affected the township and the previous agricultural lifestyles progressed into the manufacturing age. The Great Depression led to additional sectioning off of the land. The once large farm became smaller and smaller farms as Medina County grew. By the time Roscoe Ewing, a successful Cleveland lawyer, bought the land in 1934 he knew Medina County would become a prosperous investment.
Driving through Mr. Ewing’s property today is a huge neighborhood. Along with his house, it is surrounded by many lively homes and citizens. After World War II and the expansion of suburbs in America, the population of Medina increased through the baby boom, the development of the American dream, and the progressing idea of enrichment. For many years, the American Dream portrayed an egalitarian society, and value in having superior materialistic items than your peers. Small towns contained compact neighborhoods, automobiles, and people who were eager to obtain the latest appliances. People were moving out of cities to start their families and settle down in easygoing situations. The economy was becoming stable and the market was positively improving. Today, Medina is a highly developed city and the rich history can be seen through the many founding buildings still present.

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867 E Smith Road

867 E Smith Road

In 1942, Roscoe Ewing built his house in Medina Ohio on East Smith Road. Roscoe wanted his house's architecture to be based on the architecture of the white house. During the historical period of the depression, Roscoe Ewing purchased a large farm in hope of using the Civil War home as a summer place. On his farm, he raised prized, valuable cattle. Roscoe couldn't obtain a building permit during World War II and therefore he decided to move a barn to his property and convert it into a home. Image Courtesy of Hanna Mackey View File Details Page

Aerial view of  867 E Smith Rd in the mid 1900s

Aerial view of 867 E Smith Rd in the mid 1900s

Roscoe Ewing built his house where he could have space from the other people in town. Montville farms, located next to Roscoe's property, once stretched 400 acres, from Route 18 South to the current location of Heritage Elementary School. The undeveloped land around the house, made his home one of the few in Medina. The location of the barn could be found further down on Smith Road, before being moved to the Ewing property. Roscoe referred to the transformation of the barn into his as home improvement. His family of three children, two daughters, and one son lived here, along with his wife. A park in Medina had been named after Mr. Ewing in his honor and can be visited by Medina residents today. Image Courtesy of the King Family Archives View File Details Page

867 E Smith Road, view from the street

867 E Smith Road, view from the street

Roscoe Ewing wanted his house to look like the white house, which he accomplished through the styling of the architecture. This symmetry can be seen in the windows in the main section and the detailing at the top of the house. The brick walkway leads up the stairs to the front porch, which is also symmetrical on both sides. When Roscoe Ewing built his house, he had a brick circle driveway and a horse post for the carriages that came to his house. Horses were the most common means of transportation during the time when the house was built because automobiles were not popular. Image Courtesy of Hanna Mackey View File Details Page

867 E Smith Road; backyard

867 E Smith Road; backyard

Roscoe Ewing's wife sold their house to the King family, who still lives there today. They put a tennis court where farmland used to be because of their love for the sport. Roscoe Ewing also loved the game of golf. He installed his own private nine hole golf course in the back west end of his property. The current family added a garden when they bought the house in 1973. When the King family bought the lot, they only bought one acre. Later, when Roscoe's family was dividing up the land so that they could sell it, Roscoe's estate came to the Kings and asked if they wanted to buy more land. The King family took the offer in order to add more seclusion and security to their home. Image Courtesy of Katherine King View File Details Page

867 E Smith Road; entryway of house

867 E Smith Road; entryway of house

There are three levels to the house including an upstairs and a basement. When you enter the house through the front door, the stairs lead to the upper level. The current owners of the house, the King family, carried out some renovations including a kitchen remodel that revealed red-barn wood. Many farm like qualities were revealed during remodels that helped to evaluate evidence of the home's history of previous being a barn. Several renovations have been made but there are still many original features of the house still standing. The original carpet and front door add to the authenticity of the old house. Image Courtesy of Katherine King View File Details Page

Vernon Stauffer, client of Roscoe Ewing

Vernon Stauffer, client of Roscoe Ewing

In the 1950's Roscoe added a library/study to the East side of the house. At one point in his career he was an attorney to Vernon Stauffer, founder of Stauffer foods and at one point the owner of the Cleveland Indians. He had a baseball diamond behind his house where the players of the Indians would come and hit. Another part of Roscoe Ewing's land is now apart of the Roscoe Ewing Park, preserved in Medina County to honor him. The park can be visited by Medina County Residents today. Image Courtesy of the Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

867 East Smith Rd; view from the back patio

867 East Smith Rd; view from the back patio

Along with a patio at the back of the house, the garage can be found on the right, and a sun room can be found on the left. Although not pictured here, remains of a smokehouse are present in the small farmhouse near the home. Probable evidence also adds to the possibility that the nearby farmhouse had been used for underground railroad purposes during the historical period of slavery. Image Courtesy of Katherine King View File Details Page

Audio

renovations to Roscoe's house

The current owner of the house Joann King tells of the renovations they have made to the house since Roscoe and his family sold it to them. Roscoe had a vast amount of farmland, he used the land to raise cattle and he also had a nine hole golf course. The King family redid the kitchen and added on two rooms to the original structure. At the time of Roscoe’s residence, the house and the land was all in Montville Township. View File Details Page

Renovations of the house

The King family wanted to keep the original 1940s feel to the house when they were renovating. The original house was a barn and the King’s discovered that when they remodeled the kitchen. They added aspects of the house that made it feel like their home while still keeping the original style to the home. View File Details Page

farmhouse renovations

A little farther down the street the farmhouse has evidence of being a smokehouse back in the 1940s. The current owners have made several renovations so they would be able to rent the farmhouse to other residents of Medina. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Katherine King and Hanna Mackey , “867 E Smith Road,” Discover Medina, accessed May 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/247.

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