With expansionism starting in the early 1800’s, America became a nation of pioneering and exploration. Ohio developed into a newly sought out place that needed its land surveyed and divided into separate districts due to westward expansion. Being previously restricted before by government officials, people now settled into the broad wilderness of this new territory. Medina, not even an official county yet, still needed time for settlement and growth. Agriculture grew very difficult and labor intensive with a lot of wildlife surrounding the area during the beginning of settlement. Therefore; many people did not venture too far out into the vastness of parts of uncharted Ohio. Land agents sent by Elijah Boardman, a wealthy merchant and landowner, received parts of Ohio such as Medina to survey through the Connecticut Land Company.

As a land agent for Elijah Boardman, Rufus Ferris along with his family moved to Medina on June 11th of 1816 from Connecticut. The Ferris family settled half a mile north of the Medina Square in the so-called Fair lands, where he built a cozy log cabin. Ferris was sent to Medina to survey and sell lots; and he also served as Medina County's first treasurer and postmaster. Being that he was the land agent for Boardman, his house functioned as a home for all who came to purchase land. To satisfy those looking for land, Mrs. Ferris would bake every day. For this reason, Mr. Ferris built her two ovens, which are located in the basement. It is believed however that one of the ovens is a fake, and is in fact part of the Underground Railroad. In the next year, after employing John and Nira B. Northrop, the three of them constructed the first frame barn in the township in just two days. In 1833, Ferris had gone to Columbus to volunteer with helping treat cholera; however he himself contracted the disease and unfortunately died before he could make it back to Medina. Even after his death the house was still put to good use as it served as a stagecoach stop on "The Pike" from Cleveland to Wooster until a fire in 1845 broke out on the square. The Ferris house barely escaped this tragic event, which destroyed twenty-five percent of the Medina Square. Even though the house was not harmed, the fire still put an end to the Wooster Pike.

Images

Audio

Rufus Ferris, fun loving guy

View File Record

Map