Rufus Ferris

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

The Ferris Household

The Ferris Household

The Ferris House is located on 325 North Broadway in Medina. The house now serves as an attorneys office called "Laribee and Hertrick". This is currently what the house looks like today, with the square roof and columns on the house being added on at a later date. "Image Courtesy of Clayton Stumpf" View File Details Page

Mrs. Ferris's Oven

Mrs. Ferris's Oven

This oven is one of the two that Mrs. Ferris's used for her daily baking. It is believed however that this oven was fake and was used for the Underground Railroad. "Image Courtesy of Clayton Stumpf" View File Details Page

Original Foundation

Original Foundation

This is the original foundation of the house which is made solely out of bricks. Along with the original wash tub and the water line that is coming directly out of the ceiling which is only six feet high. "Image Courtesy of Lindsay Smith" View File Details Page

Stairs to the Attic

Stairs to the Attic

These stairs are significant, because they are the same set of stairs as they were when they were first made. Compared to the steps in most houses now, these steps are a lot steeper. In addition to the steepness of the stairs, the danger is also increased due to the fact that there is not a railing. "Image Courtesy of Lindsay Smith" View File Details Page

The Ferris House Den Door

The Ferris House Den Door

John and Deborah Miller Dannley are illustrating the Den door of the Ferris House which recorded the heights of many of Medina's residents. Due to the fact that the Ferris House was a prime location in the town, it was not uncommon for citizens to regularly get their height marked on this door, which divided the dining room from the back of the house. "Image Courtesy of Laribee and Hertrick" View File Details Page

Audio

Rufus Ferris, fun loving guy

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Cite this Page:

Clayton Stumpf, Lindsay Smith, Sam Kovalchik, “Rufus Ferris,” Discover Medina, accessed March 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/62.
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