Fate of historic house unclear

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK This house has stood above National Road east of St. Clairsville for well over a century. Now under new ownership and with some development planned, members of the family that raised generations there hope it might be restored.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The future is uncertain for a sturdy brick house that has overlooked National Road for more than 180 years now that it is under new ownership.

For nearly two centuries, the house has stood on the property adjacent to Ebbert Farm Market, located at 68101 Ebbert North Road off U.S. 40. The property has been sold, and market owners Jerry and Lova Ebbert have hopes that the house with deep roots in their family will be preserved.

“We have no part of it because we don’t own that property,” Lova Ebbert said. “That was, at one point, part of the Ebbert Farm. It is no longer. My husband and I, we never owned it.”

“It’s been common knowledge for a couple of years now actually that Kimble Sanitation owns the property just right across from us and their plans are to put a transfer station in. Now right now, we have a working relationship with them on how it’s going to be done,” Jerry Ebbert said. “It’s both parties’ goal that it will have zero or minimum impact on our business, but we do not own that property. Myself and Lova, we never owned that property where the historic home is and where the dirt work is being done right now.

“I know there’s a lot of confusion in the area that the Ebbert family — and it was some of the Ebbert family … but the owners of Ebbert Farm Market never owned that property, nor my parents.

“It was an aunt, an uncle, it was an estate that needed to be settled,” Jerry Ebbert continued. “We did not have the opportunity that we would like to have had to have had that property. … Up until the time my aunt (Alice Ebbert) passed away, she was taking care of it, and we’ve all kind of taken care of it.”

He hopes that the new owner decides to preserve and renovate the house.

“It’s a good thing. It’ll preserve the last of the old houses in the area. There used to be a lot of century homes right along our stretch of Route 40 and this is the last one,” he said. “Even though we would rather have been the ones to be doing it, at least somebody is going to take care of that house and improve what’s there. I can’t speak for that company and that family.”

But he believes it is likely the home will be preserved.

“They have several historic properties that they already own,” he said of Kimble.

He also discussed the history of the building.

“The first part of the house, the original house … was built in 1838. The bigger part was actually added on, and it was 1858, so it’s over 150 years old,” Jerry Ebbert said. “It’s not as big as it looks because those old houses, they’ve got at least three layers of brick, but it does have big rooms. … It was an 11-room house.”

The house holds many memories.

“I grew up right next door,” he said. “I grew up there, and I’ve been a lifelong resident of St. Clairsville and lived pretty much there in the house next door for a big part of my life. We actually helped my aunt maintain the property for the last 30 years and actually still are doing the yard work for Kimble, so we have lots of fond memories. That was quite the place.

“My dad was one of nine siblings,” he added. “There were actually two families raised in that house with my dad — the Carrolls and Ebberts had a partnership on the far. That was 100 years ago. The farm was established in 1919, and two families that each had nine kids lived in that house.”

Keith Kimble did not respond to calls made to his business seeking comment. According to the Belmont County Recorder’s Office, in May of 2020 the property was transferred to Pleasant Hill Development LLC of Dover, Ohio. According to the database opencorporates.com, Keith Kimble is listed as the agent.

According to its website, the family-owned and operated Kimble Companies has been in business since 1948, specializing in waste collection and recycling.

It has five locations in Ohio and nearly 1,000 employees. Its corporate headquarters is in Dover.


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