DACO in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Art & Culture

Reese – Peters – Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and the Saylor House: 145 East Main Street


Jacob Saylor purchased lot 13 in Square 13 in 1801 from John Zane and built the small house now in the rear.

Today, it is known as the Saylor House. The house is a 1790s design and one of the earliest brick homes remaining in the county. Features of the “Saylor House” include the twelve over eight hand-blown window panes and primitive fireplace. In 1834 Saylor sold his home and property to William Reese.

In 1835 William Reese, a lawyer, built one of the finest Federal houses in Ohio for his wife Mary Elizabeth Sherman (sister of William T. Sherman). It has fine proportions and an imposing location standing high above the street with a sandstone dry masonry retaining wall. Each Corinthian column on the portico contains 80 hand-carved acanthus leaves. On the side porch, the columns are Egyptian inspired Corinthian columns (lotus) and at the rear of the house, the columns are simple Doric. Other features of importance about the home are the exceptionally wide cornice, fine ironwork, and false shuttered windows on the west wall.

The inside features a beautiful unsupported spiral staircase lighted by a belvedere of curved glass and hand-carved woodwork above the doors and windows of the drawing room. These were crafted in Philadelphia and brought by wagon train over the mountains to Lancaster.

In 1865 Darius Tallmadge purchased the house but never lived there. Philip Rising purchased this grand home from Darius Tallmadge in 1872 for $21,000. The Risings called the little house out back the “coachman’s house.”

In 1995 the property was donated by the Peters Family for use by the public as an arts/education center. The “Saylor House” is now a guest house for visiting artists.

Click here for more information about the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.

Sherman Trail: This is the home of General Sherman’s sister, Mary Elizabeth Sherman. In 1834, Mary Elizabeth Sherman’s husband, William Reese, commissioned Daniel Sifford to construct a grand home for his new wife. Sherman was at West Point during this time. The Reese family only lived there a short time until they lost everything in a financial collapse and moved to Philadelphia. It is considered one of the finest Federal houses in Ohio. The property was the Sherman and Ewing children’s shared playground.

The Saylor House behind the Decorative Arts Center would have been the only structure on during General Sherman’s childhood.

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