Massillon’s National Register Sites
Spring Hill Historic Home
1401 Spring Hill Lane Northeast
New England Quakers Thomas and Charity Rotch built their Spring Hill home in 1821 just outside the town of Kendal which Rotch had founded in 1812. It was a Merino sheep farm and a station on the Underground Railroad. Three generations of the Wales family lived in the rural residence before it opened to the public as a historic home in the 1970s. Visitors remember the “Secret Stairway,” the bee room, the wig and false teeth drawers, the tiny playroom, and the sugar barrels that disguised the opening to the hiding place for fugitive slaves.
210 Fourth Street Northeast
Five Oaks, the home of J. Walter McClymonds and his wife Flora Russell McClymonds until 1912, stood empty for twelve years until their daughters, Ruth McClymonds Maitland and Edna McClymonds Wales, gave their family home to become the home of the Massillon Woman’s Club. The mansion, started in 1892, took two years to build and cost more than $200,000. Cleveland architect Charles F. Schweinfurth, who designed it, hired expert sculptors and stonemasons from as far away as Scotland to create Massillon’s finest architectural work. Visitors enjoy a huge Tiffany window, the Moroccan leather billiards room, the gold-leaf-adorned walls, and the grand staircase. Five Oaks was listed individually on the National Register in 1973, and it is part of the Fourth Street Historic District, which was listed on the National Register in 1982.
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
322 Third Street Southeast
Massillon founder James Duncan set aside the lot at the corner of Tremont and Third Street Southeast for an Episcopal church when he laid out the town. The first building was started ten years later in 1836, when St. Timothy’s parish was founded. The congregation broke ground for the present structure—known for its signed Tiffany windows—in 1892, but the nation’s economic panic delayed its dedication until 1899.
First United Methodist Church
305 Lincoln Way East
In 1888 Methodists built a grand church at the corner of Lincoln Way and Third Street Southeast, but it was destroyed by fire in 1892. While the present church was constructed, the people of the community took up a subscription to replace the steeple clock, which has since that time been known as the Town Clock. Like Massillon’s other National Register churches, First United Methodist Church is built of locally quarried sandstone.
St. Mary Roman Catholic Church
126 Cherry Road Northeast
Founded in 1839 primarily by families who came to Massillon to build the canal, St. Mary’s first church building was destroyed by fire in 1892. While the German-speaking congregation rebuilt their house of worship, the Irish members formed an English-speaking mission, which became St. Joseph’s Church. The present St. Mary’s church, on the same Cherry Road Northeast site, was built in 1876. It is best known for its beautiful rose window.
Massillon Cemetery Association Residence
1827 South Erie Street
The Massillon Cemetery Association, which was founded in 1846, built a residence of locally quarried sandstone for the cemetery sexton in 1879.
The Ideal Building
55 Lincoln Way East
The Hess-Snyder Company built the city’s first eight-story “skyscraper” in 1918 for the Ideal Department Store on the southwest corner of Lincoln Way and First Street, S.E. Ohio Merchants Bank purchased it in 1925 and it remained a bank until 1967. Today, above the first-floor commercial space, sixty-six apartments have drawn people back to downtown to live.
Lincoln Professional Building
111 Lincoln Way West
Cleveland architect Frank R. Walker designed the city’s second eight-story building in 1923. For more than a half century it housed the First National Bank on the first floor and offices above. Presently the home of Chase Bank, the Lincoln Professional Building has office space in the upper floors.
Historic Fourth Street National Register District
Fourth Street Northeast from Lincoln Way East to Cherry Road Northeast
This listing highlights some of the residences that line the brick street
Thomas and Ellen Russell House
107 Fourth Street Northeast
One of seven brothers whose Russell & Co. manufactured and shipped steam engines around the world, Thomas built his Prospect Street home and carriage house in 1882. The Russells invited 850 to their daughter, Laura’s, wedding reception at their home. Today it maintains that entertaining atmosphere as the Thomas H. Russell Bed and Breakfast.
Charles and Adeline Steese Residence
110 Fourth Street Northeast
One of Massillon’s first big stone mansions, the Romanesque home built by Charles Steese at the corner of Prospect Street and Plum Street (now Fourth Street and Federal Avenue), was designed by a Boston architect and constructed about 1885. Steese, who followed in his father’s footsteps as president of Union Bank, frequently entertained the McKinleys, as did several Prospect Street neighbors.
Nahum and Esther Russell House
120 Fourth Street Northeast
Nathum S. and Esther Russell built their Italianate home, about 1860, on the east side of Prospect Street, as Fourth Street was originally named. In 1897, after the deaths of their parents, the Russell daughters, Annie and Flora, gave their family home for use as Massillon’s first public library. The McClymonds Public Library included the beginnings of the Massillon Museum. After the library moved in 1937 to its present location downtown, the building became apartments.
210 Fourth Street Northeast
Five Oaks, the home of J. Walter McClymonds and his wife Flora Russell McClymonds until 1912, stood empty for twelve years until their daughters, Ruth McClymonds Maitland and Edna McClymonds Wales, gave their family home to become the home of the Massillon Woman’s Club. The mansion, started in 1892, took two years to build and cost more than $200,000. Cleveland architect Charles F. Schweinfurth, who designed it, hired expert sculptors and stonemasons from as far away as Scotland to create Massillon’s finest architectural work. Visitors enjoy a huge Tiffany window, the Moroccan leather billiards room, the gold-leaf-adorned walls, and the grand staircase.
220 Fourth Street Northeast
Shortly after 1830, twins Joshua D. and David R. Atwater began the ten-year construction of their large, “twin” houses, which were separated only by a brick wall. The Atwaters purchased the original canal warehouse from the Wellman brothers in the 1830s and operated the business in evolving forms for a century. Their huge double home is thought to have been designed and built by Henry Yessler, who moved west to become one of the founders and first mayors of Seattle.
“Lillian Gish House”
315 Fourth Street Northeast
Actress Lillian Gish owned this 1845-era residence for a few minutes after her death. Although the community long believed that Miss Gish purchased it for her aunt Emily Merrill, the house was actually purchased by Lillian’s also-famous sister, Dorothy Gish, in the mid-1950s. It was discovered after Lillian’s death, that no conveyance had been made from Dorothy’s estate. The Gish sisters occasionally stayed in the house on brief visits to Massillon. As child stars, they had stayed with their aunt when they weren’t working and their mother, also an actress, had a job.
Amelia and James F. Pocock House
308 Fourth Street Northeast
The home of Amelia E. “Minnie” Pocock and her husband, James, a regional coal mogul, was completed by 1875. In the 1890s, the Pococks engaged the architect Schweinfurth to enhance their home, turning it into a luxurious residence complete with a library, billiards room, and cherry-paneled ballroom. Lavish woodwork is decorated with cherus and Biblical inscriptions.
Bessie Skinner Residence
328 Chestnut Avenue Northeast
Bessie Skinner, editor and publisher of Massillon’s daily newspaper, The Evening Independent, hired Herman Albrecht to design a Tudor Revival residence for her in the early 1920s. It is characterized by the sculpted faces smirking from the Chestnut Street facade.
Hiram and Mary Wellman House
414 Fourth Street Northeast
When the Wellmans began construction of their home, in the mid-1830s, they intended for it to replicate Mount Vernon, but the financial panic of 1837 forced them to take a more conservative plan of action. They hid fugitive slaves in the jelly cellar, as part of the Underground Railroad. The second resident, David K. Cartter, became a nationally renowned lawyer, making the speech that swung the momentum toward Abraham Lincoln at the 1860 Republican Convention. The next residents often entertained James A. Garfield, a friend of James Brown’s youth.