3. Casey Pomeroy House
| 802 North Huron Street | This is the Casey-Pomeroy house, a three-story Italian Villa Style brick structure originally built as an 8,000 square foot home. A later addition brought the total square footage to 14,000. The history of this home is important because it touches the story of our community in many ways. Once a crown jewel of the area, this building was close to seeing the wrecking ball. Now it is on its way back through the dedication of community volunteers and a hard-working couple who purchased it.
This home had a prominent location when it was constructed in the Vistula neighborhood in 1870 for Theodore B. Casey. He came to Toledo from Middlebury, Indiana, where he had married the sister of Miles D. Carrington. Carrington and Casey became partners in a grain and commission house, which quickly became one of the most important grain trading businesses on the Great Lakes. Carrington and Casey also became shipping magnates as they leveraged the Great Lakes to move their grain. They commissioned the building of the David Dows, a ship built on the Maumee River. At that time, the David Dows was the largest cargo schooner to ever sail the Great Lakes and the largest five-masted schooner in the world. It was named after a close friend and prominent Chicago businessman.
The second owner of this mansion was a prominent banker, John Worthington. When his only child, Hannah Matilda, married George E. Pomeroy, Jr., Worthington gave the couple this home.
In 1887, George Pomeroy, Jr., as part of his work with the Toledo Business Men's Association, connected with Edward Drummond Libbey, the son of a glass manufacturer in New England and invited him to scout Toledo as a new location for the family's glass business. Pomeroy and his colleagues were bucking the trend of selling Toledo as a grain center when they decided to promote the town as a manufacturing and industrial hub surrounded by important natural resources (natural gas), ready labor and convenient access to transportation. At a dinner party held at this house in 1887, Libbey met Florence Scott, a member of a prominent Toledo family and his future wife. In 1888, after considering other cities offering similar programs, Libbey relocated his business to Toledo and the Glass City was born. The important thing to remember is this is before the Chamber of Commerce, the Port Authority or the SBA - glass came to Toledo because a group local entrepreneurs saw an opportunity for economic development and made it happen.
Around 1924, the Pomeroy’s gifted the home to the Catholic Diocese of Toledo to be a part of the St. John’s Jesuit College Campus. The campus utilized both the Carrington and Casey mansions, which were built on adjacent parcels. The priests resided in the Carrington mansion as the rectory; the Casey mansion was used as the convent to house the Ursuline Sisters. All other homes on this block were demolished to make space for the campus. It was at this time the 6,000 square foot addition was constructed to match the earlier building, including sandstone window lintels and archways. Later the Sisters of St. Francis occupied the home. During the last part of the time the Diocese had the property, the Casey-Pomeroy House was home to various teaching programs, including a school for troubled boys chartered by the Toledo Public Schools.
In 2003, after 8 years of being vacant and 4 years of being unheated, the house went to private ownership after a few months of negotiations with the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The new owners spent the next year and a half restoring the mansion to the point where they could open it as the Casey-Pomeroy House Bed & Breakfast, which still operates today. While the restoration is not complete (is restoration ever really done?), the house has been used for weddings, parties/events, and for meetings by groups wanting to showcase the lovely mansion and prove that old, worn historic buildings are worth saving. CLICK HERE to learn more about the restoration of this beautiful Toledo landmark.
To LEARN MORE about George Pomeroy, Jr. and other forward-thinking Toledoans, check out my 2013 TEDx presentation.