CLYDE — When he was growing up in rural Clyde, Bill Frankart often mowed the lawn for his neighbors, Eldon and Kathryn Powell, who lived in one of the most unique homes in Ohio, an 1850s octagon house.
In June 2021, Bill and his wife Janet Frankart, purchased the home from the Powell estate at an auction. The Frankarts will host a public open house of the home on Saturday and then starting June 1 the home will be available to rent as an Airbnb.
The Powells weren’t looking for an octagon house when they purchased the home in 1968. They wanted a farm, and the home sat on prime, available land. In the end, they raised their family in one of the few livable octagon houses in Ohio.
The octagonal design is one of the first American architectural designs not drawn from European influence. It was popularized by amateur architect and phrenology proponent Orson Squire Fowler, who authored the book, “The Octagon House: A Home for All.” As he designed octagon houses, he drew inspiration from nature in an effort to create greater comfort and efficiency in homes.
The Frankarts’ house is bright with natural light streaming in from its many windows, which also draw breezes that help keep the house cool in summer.
Not that the windows are needed. The Frankarts performed many upgrades on the home, including the addition of a new heating and central air unit. They put in new flooring, a new bathroom and two electric fireplaces. They upgraded the fixtures, painted walls, and reroofed part of the home. The garage floor will eventually be finished to become a recreation area with ping-pong tables.
The home is ready for its first Airbnb customers, who will have access to the entire home and its garage. The home has three bedrooms, 2½ baths, and a full kitchen. New televisions have been added to the living room, bedrooms and garage, and free Wi-Fi is available.
The home sits on an 80-acre farm, and Bill farms the 60-tillable acres. The house is surrounded by a 5-acre plot of land and a small patch of woods, creating a quiet getaway that is a short drive to the nearby towns of Green Springs, Clyde, Fremont and Tiffin. The home is approximately 30 miles from many popular tourist destinations including Lake Erie, Cedar Point, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
“It gives people an opportunity to come out and get a breath of fresh air. There’s a picnic table in the woods and a patio out back,” Bill said. “It’s a great location, and the reservoir is nearby for fishing.”
Because so many people have shown an interest in viewing the home because of its historic significance, the Frankarts decided to host an open house.
“A lot of people want to see it, so we thought we’d open it up for a day,” Bill said.
The Frankart Octagon House open house will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Nana’s Kitchen Mexican food truck will sell food, and WTTF radio will broadcast live from the site. Across the street, the John Weikert sawmill will host free log splitting demonstrations.
The home is at 7618 N. Township Road 32, Clyde.
Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Fremont News-Messenger: Frankarts make historic Octagon home an Airbnb rental