It is interesting the things you learn on the way to researching something else, in this case, posts on the Austin Log Cabin and Jared Potter Kirtland. I discovered that the Strock Stone House, after the Austin Log Cabin, is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Austintown and both homes are historical sites maintained by the Austintown Historical Society. Like the Kirtland residence in Poland, the Strock Stone House (also known as the Judge William Shaw Anderson house) was probably a stop on the underground railroad. Records of such things were not kept because it was illegal (but moral) to shelter and aid fugitive slaves.
The house was built in 1831 by William McClure and occupied by William Strock and his family. Strock’s parents came to Austintown between 1813 and 1815, living in the Smiths Corners area. The home, located along the original road between Youngstown and Akron (a bit south of Mahoning Avenue, was built of huge blocks of sandstone quarried from a nearby quarry on South Turner Road). The road was originally a dirt road, later a plank road, and finally a brick road. Part of the driveway beside the house consists of the original brick.
In 1851 the Strocks sold the house and 108 acres to Francis Henry. If the house served as a stop on the underground railroad, it would have been under Francis Henry’s ownership. The house was somewhat isolated and fugitive slaves could approach without being seen by prying eyes.
In 1863, Francis Henry sold the house to David Anderson, who had met Jonathan Wick in Philadelphia. The two of them opened a general store in Jackson Township and at one time, Anderson was the wealthiest resident of Austintown, worth nearly $50,000, a tidy sum in 1870. After his wife Hannah died from an accidental fall in 1879, Anderson let the house fall into disrepair, then turned it over to his oldest son, William Shaw Anderson.
William Shaw Anderson was a prominent attorney and judge in Youngstown and lived in the house between 1890 and 1925. Between 1912 and 1918 he made improvements on the existing structure and built a frame addition (the white shingled portion) that included a sun room, dining room, and dinette downstairs, and three bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. President William McKinley was reportedly one of his guests.
In 1925, Anderson died and the house passed to his children. In 1929, they sold the house and land to the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD), which was in the process of creating Meander Reservoir, modernizing and improving Youngstown’s water supply. At that time, the road was moved north to the present location of Mahoning Avenue.
Until 1985, the house was occupied by the Chief Engineer for MVSD. Since then the Austintown Historical Society, with help from MVSD has maintained the house, particularly the interior. The house features antiques, furnishings, period clothing, games, equipment, and utensils. One of the distinctive items on display is a slave quilt from South Carolina.
The Austintown Historical Society hosts a Holiday High Tea each November with the house decorated for the holidays. The most recent was on Sunday, November 10, 2019, and attended by 120 people. They have also hosted Spring Teas.
Anyone can visit the Strock Stone House on the first Sunday of each month from 1 to 4 pm. No appointment is needed and no admission is charged. Donations, however are welcomed and there is a place to leave donations. The house is located at 7171 Mahoning Avenue, just east of Meander Reservoir. More information about the Austintown Historical Society and events at the Strock Stone House may be found at their Facebook page.
We drove out Mahoning Avenue by Meander many times before I-76 was built, but I never noticed the house (although at that time it was still occupied by the Chief Engineer. It is one more place I’ve added to my “bucket list” of places to visit around Youngstown.
[Written in 2019. Check their Facebook page for current hours of operation. ]
9 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Strock Stone House”
Got to give credit to Joyce Pogany for helping preserve so much of Austintown’s history!
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Weirdly the address pops up differently in places with west of the reservoir. The first was north of I80! It is far enough off of Mahoning on the old road that you probably would not have seen it. It is not on Google Streetview but it is on Google Earth.
Paul, I discovered that there are two Mahoning Avenues (one further north going into and through Warren) and this is what shows up when the address is entered. Try this link of Google Streetview of the entrance to the house which is EAST of the reservoir. https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-80.8005473,3a,32.4y,169.46h,75.5t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shzqSNQYL2-WGDYRnEJqoLw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
As a past and retired employee of the MVSD I have spent more then a few hours there. My first time there was for a Christmas party in 1981 when it was still used as a residence. My times there after that were mostly job related. The Home too me especially the basement with its low ceiling, located under the original stone portion of the house and the one bedroom upstairs always gave me an eerie feeling. Simply put I never felt alone there. When the house opens back up for tours or if somehow you are afforded an opportunity to visit I highly recommend it.
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Appreciate the first hand account!
Where were the stone quarries on South Turner?
I periodically drive by that house when I’m in the area. On April 1, 1967 I going West on Mahoning Ave, I turned into the Old Mahoning Ave and stopped along the side of the road in front of that house and proposed to my wife Linda, who lived on North Lipkey Rd. on the West side of Meandor Lake. Fond memories. So glad to see it preserved!
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