14 Market Street
Adults - $2.00
Children 6 to 16 - 50 cents
Children under 6 - free
when accompanied by an adult
Special group tours can be
arranged any day of the week with advance notice for a $25.00 minimum fee.
The community museum
is open for tours on the 1st Sunday of
months March to November from 2-4 pm except on holidays and
during inclement weather. Extra hours may be available on request.
Queen Anne architecture is the most important feature of the Spitler
House. It is a unique three-story frame Queen Anne (High Victorian) style
house erected by Spitler, a miller and plumber, in 1894.
historian, described the house in the Ohio Historical Society’s publication, Echoes, as “A fantastic building, with an octagonal tower, profusion of
porches, and imaginative use of ornamental detail.” She stated, “It is
rare to find a house of this style in a small town.” (Brookville’s population
in 1894 was about 600). Judith wrote that she knows of no other (like it)
in existence today.
Rasor, a local builder and craftsman, using
plans (Design No. 60) of architect George F. Barber, built this beautiful house for Samuel
Spitler. According to family members, the material to build the house cost
about $1,700.00 and the labor cost was approximately $500.00. All of the
rooms have been restored to original state. The exterior is painted in
the original colors of light cream and green.
Spitler was born in Clay Township in 1861, the son of Daniel and Prudence
(Litten) Spitler. Ettie Pearl (Weaver) Spitler was born in Perry Township in
1872, the daughter of Josiah and Sarah Ann (Baker) Weaver. Their daughter Anona
was born in Brookville in 1904 and married Floyd Fred Stoner.
was saved from demolition through the leadership of the Brookville Historical
Society and the contributions of numerous individuals and groups.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gilbert
donated the house to the society. A “Save the Spitler House” fund drive
was conducted, a lot was purchased, the basement completed, and the house
was turned around and moved across the alley to its present location in
August of 1974. Restoration work proceeded until the Spitler House was
opened to the public on May 15, 1976.
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Main Halls run
the full width of the house down-stairs and upstairs. The woodwork on the
arched divider in the downstairs hallway and the open, golden oak stairway
is delicately carved. The metal statue on the newel post is of Shakespeare.
The Clio Club, a local literary group, started Brookville’s first library
in the Spitler House. A bookcase was kept in the downstairs hall, and the
books were loaned to Clio Club members and to other persons.
Parlor is the
formal room of the Spitler House. The beautiful golden oak woodwork shows
up in the sliding doors. The formal arrangement of the furniture is typical
of this period. The parlor is in memory of Henry and Be1le Miller for a
generous contribution, to preserve the Spitler House, made by the Edd and
Christena (Miller) Leiber family in 1976.
Dining Room glows
with the golden oak woodwork and beautifully carved fireplace. Lincrusta,
an embossed paper composition substitute for wallpaper, is on the lower
half of the walls and is still in excellent condition. The serving cupboard
is unusual in that it can be reached from the kitchen, the pantry, and
the dining room (this was Mr. Spitler’s own design.) The dining room is
in honor of Kappa Xi Chapter of Delta Theta Tau Sorority for their generous
contribution to preserve the Spitler House in 1976.
Kitchen and Pantry
are typical of this period. The large kitchen was the center of activity
in this house. Mr. Spitler designed the tank system that has pipes running
through the kitchen range. The stove heats the water in the pipes and provides
hot water in the bathroom upstairs. The kitchen is in memory of Russell
and Ellen (Lutz) McNelly, for a generous contribution to preserve the Spitler
House and Community Museum, made by the McNelly children in 1984.
Library was used
for a variety of activities by the Spitler family. The Library is in memory
of Ralph and Thelma (Apple) Unger for their generous contribution to preserve
the Spitler House and Community Museum, in 1992.
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Upper Hall is
spacious and features an interesting display of folk art of the l800s,
crafted from hair, shells, beads, feathers and yarn.
Tower Room, at
the top of the stairs, is unique in shape and it adds architectural interest
both inside and outside. The Tower Room is in memory of Ralph O. (Jake)
Wentz, Jacob E. and Orilla Wentz, and Fred and Carrie Koch for the donation
by Lucile K. Wentz.
is a large, airy room with a huge window and a door leading to the original
Large Room upstairs
to the back of the house has been restored to a bedroom using some
furnishings received from the Helen Bryant Hill estate. This room is in
memory of Roy and Marie (Cassady) Somers for the generous contribution
to preserve the Spitler House made by Roy Somers in 1978.
Bathroom is the
first indoor bathroom in Brookville. The tub and the towel rack are original
Basement has not
been restored to its original state for washing, canning, and heating facilities,
but contains a variety of interesting exhibits. A balloon basket belonging
to Warren Rasor, builder of the house and a nationally known balloonist,
is located there. A barn area features two rare farm animals. One area of the basement displays memorabilia
of the Brookville Bridge Company, and its owner, Herman S. Fox. This area
is in memory of Herman S. and Lillie (Turner) Fox for the generous contribution,
to preserve the Spitler House and Community Museum, Made by their daughter,
Robert and Joanna (Fox) Weitkamp in 1983
*This building is not wheelchair accessible*