For decades, the home of Macedonia's first mayor sat neglected in Longwood Park off Route 82, as city officials put it at the bottom of the list of priorities for spending and volunteers made sporadic attempts to renovate the 90-year-old Tudor-style home.
For a time, the building was condemned by the city, saved only by Macedonia Council's reluctance to spend money on the structure's demolition and by the passionate pleading for more time by John Cassmer, head of the Longwood Manor Historical Society -- the group dedicated to the home's preservation.
Now, thanks to Cassmer and other volunteers, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A plaque proclaiming the home's historic status was posted on the property in November.
Cassmer, who took over as the group's president in 2011, said last year saw some real landmarks in the group's preservation efforts.
He said the registry listing was a process that took years, adding the society's previous president, Kathy Thomas, had started the paperwork he and his wife, Rose, ushered through to completion.
Cassmer also credited Barbara Powers, of Ohio's State Historic Preservation Office, for doing much of the work on the application.
Cassmer has corralled other help in rehabilitating the home, including the installation of a new roof, also completed in 2014 through donations of artificial slate and the assistance of professional roofer Dusty Basmagny.
"It took him over a year," Cassmer said, adding Basmagny replaced a bit of the roof at a time until the entire project was completed.
Jackson Comfort systems and builder David Fike helped get the home's furnace up and running this year, and the city agreed to restore electrical service to the home.
"We got some power in the house and we were able to put up a Christmas tree," Cassmer said.
"The goal is to get the place ready so we can get an occupancy permit and reopen it to the public," he said, adding subsequent fundraisers will help pay for the home's upkeep.
In the meantime, Cassmer said he has applied for about $15,000 worth of grants from various charitable foundations so the society will have more money to continue with improvements.