(The following was written by Marilyn Gibboney, and is reprinted from “Reflections II”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author. The “Grant Homestead” is now referred to as the Grant-Sawyer Home, and is available for tours.)
“Preserving the past for the future” is the motto of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society. The Grant Homestead is a perfect personification of that motto. Here we are seated and standing on the porch of a house that was built in the middle of the nineteenth century and six generation was later it is still standing and occupied by the descendants of the builder. Before us we have a paved modern street with bicycles, autos, trucks, vans, etc, driving by on a very busy street.
If we step into the back yard we have a completely different scene. Here is a barn that once housed dairy cows, horses that plowed the fields, and old milk house, a dug well that watered all the livestock and family, a chicken house, a windmill and there are also various other farm structures rarely-seen now and certainly not in the city.
Who were these Grants and where did they come from, I would like to tell you a bit of the history of the Grant family and the Grant Homestead.
Hugh Grant, Sr. was a native of Maryland and he came to the area from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania locating first in Ross County. This land was all part of the Virginia Military District, which was land set aside by Congress to reward Revolutionary War veterans for their service to their country. In the late 18th century, Grant left his usual course in Cincinnati during one of his many return trips of selling mill products and began a scouting trip through the undeveloped part of Ohio. Finding the land in the vicinity of present-day Grove City to be very fertile, he made claim to a section of land in what is Jackson Township, which he later purchased. This section was 405 acres. In 1804 Hugh Grant, Sr. arrived by ox cart but was unable to find the exact location and settled nearby.
After his death, his wife Catherine Barr, located the actual site and built a house on ground called the Grant Homestead. It was located on what became known as East Park Street and Haughn Road. Catherine lived there until her death in 1836.
(The continuation of this story in the next blog entry).