One reason the four block section of Center Street gained
acceptance on the National Register of Historic Places was that the
houses on the street represent a variety of architecture. One of these
is the Hal Heltman home on the corner of Center and High Streets.
It represents the characteristics of both Queen Anne and Gothic
Revival styles that were popular in the late nineteenth century.
Heltman married Barrie B. Dresskell of Saranac, Michigan,
in 1884; the couple had one son. According to Will Duff, Fred
composed his first piece of music at age 14. Later he moved to
Cleveland and became nationally known in music circles, thus
departing from the tradition of having a grocery store.
Perhaps it was inevitable that The Hal Heltman should be a grocer for part of his life. His father, William G. and his brothers Frank and George, had also been in the grocery line. As early as 1859 W. G. opened a store on the Opera House corner and several years later moved across the Main Street at Center. Eventually the Heltman family built their own grocery store in 1885 on the corner of Union and Main Streets and served the neighborhood for 56 years. Golda Heltman Barr, Heltman’s widowed sister, resided in the home in later years. Nelt Barr, her husband, had been a jeweler here and later had a rubber company in Sandusky. Anther long time occupant of the home was Dorothy Young.
The home was eventually divided into a duplex, creating first and second floor units. Dr. Joseph and Sarah Rowan purchased the home, maintaining it as a rental until 2006, when the structure was sold to the Ashland Theological Seminary. The seminary has converted the home from apartments to office space and a welcome center.