Freer Children's Home
The Ashland County Historical Society is very honored to be given the opportunity to preserve and protect the Freer Home, the former Children’s Home. We thank the County Commissioners for entrusting us with this home that has been an icon in the community for many, many years. We also extend a big thank you to the Ashland County Community Foundation for awarding us with a grant providing seed money for the startup of this project. Additionally, we are blessed with great neighbors–Freer Field, Dale Roy School, and Samaritan Hospital–and we thank them for their encouragement and support of this project.
The Ashland County Historical Society plans to restore the historic Freer Home to its original grandeur. The Historical Society is dedicated to seeing that once the building is reborn, it becomes a center for the community to gather for events, educational programs, and various other services, and is accessible to and valued by the community. Landscaping the 2.65 acres that the home sits upon would provide much sought after space for weddings and social gatherings. Additionally, office space will be available for lease.
Donated to Ashland County in 1897 by Mrs. Jonas (Mary) Freer, the Freer Home was used as the Ashland County Children’s Home from 1907 to 1989; and from that time until 2014, it has been used by a succession of nonprofit and governmental agencies. The construction date of the original farmhouse is not exactly known, but courthouse records indicate that it predates the Civil War and was in existence in 1846, the year Ashland County was formed. There have been many remodels and additions to the original farmhouse, including two large additions on the north and south sides of the farmhouse and columns on the front porch. Hundreds and hundreds of Ashland residents have either lived at or worked in the Freer Home. As an important piece of Ashland history, the Freer Home will be preserved as a continued gift to the citizens of Ashland County.
The Historical Society believes that the Freer Home should be thought of as the anchor of the public space that is known as Freer Field, which is under the direction of the Ashland County Park District. It is the intent of the Ashland County Historical Society to collaborate with Freer Field on events, which adds appeal to this location making it a destination for educational and cultural events, meetings, music and the arts.