Friday, November 6, 2009

Preservation Day Trips: Piatte Castles

This will be an occasional series on Historic places of note that will make a good day trip for Old House lovers or Historic Preservationists.

Ohio has its own Biltmore! Well, while not as big as Vanderbilt's Biltmore, the Piatte Castles are certainly two of the finest examples of the grand elegance of the "Gilded Age' of Victoriana. Located in West Liberty Ohio at 10051 Twp. Rd. 47, the castles are in the middle part of the state closer to the western side. Complete information and directions are at their website: There are upcoming event this month and in December so check their website for more information.

In the 1820's, Judge Benjamin M. and Elizabeth Barnett Piatt moved their family from Cincinnati to Logan County.Two of their children, Abram Sanders and Donn later built their own homes, Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee in the country-side they knew as youths. These unique structures have become a private, family-owned museum that interprets over 200 years of history of the Ohio land and Ohio people.
What makes a visit worth the trip are the incredible high style interiors and stenciling done by artist Oliver Frey. Both Piatt families were lovers of art and it is believed that Abram’s son Charles met the skillful Swiss-born artist Oliver Frey in Mentone, France where Charles was in the diplomatic service. Oliver Frey came to Ohio to stencil seventeen rooms in Donn and Ella’s home Mac-O-Chee. When finished, he painted the ceilings of several rooms in Abram and Eleanor home, Mac-A-Cheek. While Frey and his group of artisans traveled all over Ohio, these are perhaps the finest surviving examples of his art. The museum foundation has an ongoing restoration of the stenciled rooms but it is most interesting to see them in their current unrestored condition. Do you know of a Historic "day trip getaway? If so send me the information at and we may feature it here.

1 comment:

Matt Hunter Ross said...

Interesting - never heard of these. Will definitely put this on my to do list. Thanks!