Franklin County Heritage Homes

Franklin County Heritage Homes is an Affiliate Group of the Franklin County Historical Society. Membership is $15.00 per year and you need not be a member of the FCHS to belong to FCHH. One can belong to FCHH and not own a marked historic home. The group welcomes everyone with an interest in local architecture.

The main interest of the group is historic preservation and in particular the history of Ottawa’s and Franklin County’s older homes and farmsteads. One of the activities of the group is to encourage its members to research and record the history of their homes.

The group conducts workshops on how to research the history of one’s home, available research sources in Ottawa and Franklin County, and how Franklin County Heritage Homes can help with the project. The basic requirements for marking a home are listed at the end of this page.

For those who complete the basic requirements, the group then votes to designate the home and prepares a plaque that marks the home. Notebooks are maintained by the group. One is at the Ottawa Library, one at the Franklin County Historical Society’s Records and Research Center, and one is kept by the organization’s librarian. The notebooks contain photographs and descriptions of the Heritage Homes that have been researched, documented, verified, accepted and presented with a marking plaque. This information is also available on the Franklin County Historical Society’s portal website

Research Outline

Name of Home: Generally, one lists the name of the original owner and then the name of the present owner. If there has been another signficant owner in between, that name can be added to the middle of the designation. An example would be the Kiler-Kerr-Kahler home at 7th and Cedar.

Location: The mail address and the legal description are needed.

Year Built: The date can be approximate. If the date cannot be determined exactly, then it can be described as circa 1889, for instance.

Original Owner: The owners when the home was first built.

Builder/Contractor: Builder, architect, contractor, carpenter–whatever is known.

Style Description: “A Field Guide to American Houses” by McAlester is a good guide. Don’t expect the home to fit exactly into any one style. In Kansas, styles were interpreted by the owners, architect, contractor, etc., typically from pattern books or magazines.

Form Description: This should be written in the style of a real estate advertisement: how many stories, how many bedrooms, how large, etc. etc. The section on describing form in “A Field Guide to American Houses” is a good guide.

History: The stories associated with the home, the people who lived there, significant events.

Present Owner:

Restoration Efforts: Unique problems, solutions, etc.

Be sure to contact FCHH members for assistance with this research.

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