In 1908, John C. Myers, son of F.E. and Alavesta Myers, was
married to Alice S. Mould of Cheboygan, Michigan. The wedding
account in the Cheboygan Weekly Tribune listed the wedding gifts
including, from the groom’s father, a choice lot in Ashland and the
check for $15,000 to build a house during the summer. The groom’s
mother gave the couple a parlor grand piano and Uncle Philip gave
them a rare grandfather clock with cathedral chimes.
The house being built while the couple was sailing on the
Carmania for several months, was representative of the Frank Lloyd
Wright prairie style of architecture down to the urn on the porch,
which was his signature. The horizontal look was innovative during
the time. The horizontal quality is accentuated by the ribbon windows, dark wood stripping, and low pitched hip tile roof with broad overhang. Oblong chimneys are also typical of the Wright style. There is no authentication that Wright designed the house, but a family spokesman said that he was consulted when the south wing, extra garages, and “Bar Harbor” rooms were added in the early 1930s.
When he was a young man, Myers became fascinated with fine art after visiting the Tait gallery in London. He began collecting original art and soon paintings adorned the wall of his home. He was very willing to conduct tours to share his collection. Many of his paintings were stored in the attic and garage since there was no room left on the walls. J. C. Myers had one of the largest private art collections in the United States. About 30 of his paintings still remain in the house. Others are located in the Ashland University president’s office and the Gill Center.
Inside, the rooms are finished with rich oak woodwork, molding, and paneling in some of the rooms. An open stairway rises from the large entry hall with a stained Tiffany glass skylight overhead. Rare Oriental rugs covered the floors, and Dresden figurines, Chinese porcelain, lusterware, ivory carvings, and other art objects could be found throughout the house.
Since 1933, Myers had served as president. He had just been made chairman of the board of the Myers Co. when he died in 1952. The home was given to the Ashland Theological Seminary in the late 1950s.