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Fourth Street
Historic District
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View of the Fourth Street Historic District
Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Jeff Winstel

The Fourth Street Historic District consists of residential buildings running northwest from Federal Street to Cherry Street North-East in Massillon, Ohio. These buildings represent broad themes in 19th and 20th century architectural history--Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, 20 th century Revival, and Vernacular. Massillon was formed in 1853 by the merging of two hamlets, Kendall, founded by Quaker sheep growers who established an Owenite Company on a large site which eventually was to include the Fourth Street area after the community’s dissolution, and Massillon, named for a Bishop of the court of Louis XIV by the wife of James Duncan, Massillon’s founder. Thus the Utopian, entrepreneurial and cosmopolitan elements present in Massillon’s origins found expression in the architectural character of the houses built by its leading citizens.

A roster of the ownership of the street’s significant buildings reads like an early city directory. Three Russell brokers--Thomas, Nahum, and George--founders of the reaper/mower business, Russell and Company, lived on the street. Additional Fourth Street neighbors, the Atwater twins, Joshua and David, and Charles Steese founded or directed the Atwater/Steese Paper Mill. Except for Main Street, Massillon ( Lincoln Way) nowhere is the architectural and historical record so concentrated and intertwined as in the Fourth Street Historic District.

[photo] Historic view of Fourth Street Historic District
Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Three examples demonstrating the range and variety of houses in the district include the Hiram Wellman House, the Charles Streese House and the Henry Eyman House. The Hiram Wellman House, built in 1837, on 414 Fourth Street, was built by an early Massillon grain merchant whose fortunes suffered a setback in the panic of 1837. Both in its hillcrest site and in its composition, the Hiram Wellman House suggests a Greek temple with American design elements. The Charles Steese House, built in 1884-85, was built by John Meinhart for a prominent Massillon banker in the Romanesque Revival style. Standing at 110 Fourth Street, this monumental Romanesque Revival building features a castle-like display throughout with its three-story tower, its carved Dutch parapet, its hipped dormer, and its sweeping pedimented entry porch. The Henry Eyman House, built in 1922 and located at 506 Fourth Street, is a Georgian Revival house designed for a doctor and superintendent of the Massillon State Hospital by Cleveland architect Herman Albrect.

The Fourth Street Historic District is roughly bounded by 3rd, 5th and Cherry sts. and Federal Ave., in Massillon, Ohio. The houses of the district are not open to the public.

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