Rose Taylor Dryer House New Albany-Plain Township Historical
Society Founders' Day Float 2005
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Historical Houses Overview
Dryer House
Ealy House
Kern-Harrington Museum

The Kern-Harrington Museum

Kern-Harrington HouseThe Kern-Harrington House is located at 107 E. Granville Street in the southeast Quarter of Plain Township, Franklin County, Ohio. The Society owned this house from 1994 until 2004. It was certified as a museum in 1995. In 2004, the Society entered into an agreement with The New Albany Company to exchange the Kern-Harrington property for the Ealy house. The Society continued to occupy the museum during the renovation of the Ealy house, which took over two years. The Society moved out of the Kern-Harrington museum when renovation of the Ealy house was complete. However, this house remains a significant local landmark.

The Kern-Harrington Museum was a vital center for the activities and life of the Society for twelve years and we cherish fond memories of our time there. Many volunteer hours went into the renovation, decoration and upkeep of the museum. Its facilities were used for many Society meetings and events. It served as the location for cataloguing and storing of the Society's historical collections. A brief history of this property follows.

In the 1860's, Daniel Swickard put together a 75-acre farm where the house stands on the south side of Old Route 161. He bought, also, a 5.7 acre piece of land on the north side and had his residence there. Daniel was a prosperous farmer. The 1872 Map of New Albany shows that he operated a cider mill. He was also a Justice of the Peace, judging from the fact that a New Albany columnist in the Westerville Public Opinion, writing in the 1880's, called him "Squire Swickard." Daniel was a descendant of a pioneer family that came to Plain Township from western Pennsylvania in the 1820's.

When in 1880, Daniel Swickard's widow died, his property was sold to Levi Dague, Sr., another prosperous farmer. The sale had local interest. The New Albany Columnist in the Public Opinion noted that Levi, "who now lives on the Abraham Wagner farm," "contemplates" moving to his new property "this Spring." If Levi did so, he moved into something other than the present building. A transom in the Harrington House gives the date of construction as 1881.

Like Daniel, Levi was a descendant of a Plain Township pioneer family. Mary Magdalene Dague was the wife of the first Swickard to settle in the Township. Other Dagues had arrived earlier. Mathias Dague (1761-1847), a Revolutionary War veteran, is buried just over the line in Jefferson Township behind Hoggy's Restaurant. Mathias' daughter, Elizabeth, married Jacob Clouse here in 1816.

The property passed from the Dague family in 1909: the 75 acres and brick house to Ann and William Morgan; the 5.7-acre lot on the north side of Granville Street to Nellie Swickard. The Morgans bought their share of the property for $6500 and sold it in 1911 to Noah Kern, Sr. for $7500.

Walter Heischman, who grew up in New Albany in the early years of the century and became a local hero as a Capital University athlete and later Superintendent of Schools in Upper Arlington, earned money as a boy weeding Noah Kern, Sr.'s extensive onion beds.

In the fall of 1994, Noah's daughter, Margaret Kern Harrington, sold the house and 1.257 acres to the New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society. The Society restored the house as a repository where artifacts from the comfortable late-nineteenth-century life style in Plain Township could be collected.

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