Although not in the Center Street Historic District and
not on the National Register of Historic Places, this Italianate
home will begin the process to go on the Register. Dr. David S.
Sampsell and his wife Lydia had this house built in 1871 after his
return to Ashland following his duty as Captain of Company K
of the 82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The
property at that time was large enough to hold the three houses
west along Walnut Street and the four houses along Park Street down to Washington Street.
The builders journal, passed down to Gene Smith, a subsequent owner, stated that the basement was hand dug, and the bricks which run three courses thick in the outside walls were fired on the premises. The front entry hall has a nineteen step circular stairway to accommodate the 11 foot ceilings. In 1911 the present Colonial revival porch was added to the exterior and two rooms added to the ell. Presently the house includes six bedrooms, parlor, dining room, and library with an apartment on the east side.
David and Lydia were married in 1842. Dr. Sampsell opened his medical practice in Ashland in 1851 and practiced here for 44 years. He also studied law and was admitted to the bar. He and Lydia raised seven children in the house. While he lived here he served three terms as Ashland’s mayor during which the city’s brick streets were installed. He died in 1893, and Lydia in 1906.
Other owners of the house include Frank Harris, Harry Ambrose, Gene Smith, James and Sally Schussler, and Richard and Dorothy Leidy. For many years, it was a rental property and during the 1930’s John Damm, who operated the Opera House movie theater, and his family occupied the house. Later, when Dr. and Mrs. C.G. Devoe lived there, Mrs. DeVoe had a dance studio in part of the house. After Mr. Schussler acquired the property he widened the doors to the basement so that he could restore antique automobiles in the warmth and comfort there. Mr. Leidy had an antique store in the library which he named Tulip Manor Antiques after the tulip poplar trees along the west side of the house. The present owners, Jeff and Chris Gerberick have owned the house since 1978. They have three children, Jennifer, Matthew, and Michael, and four grandchildren.