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"Linking the Past with the Present for the Future"

Pickwick Building

Pickwick Building

History of the Pickwick Building Museum

The present day Pickwick Building sits on Lot No. 39, part of the original plat of Middletown drawn up in 1802 by Stephen Vail.  In 1812, President James Madison granted by patent "by virtue of the right of pre-emption" Lot No. 39 to Jacob Clark who built a small one room cabin on the site.

The cabin was purchased in 1815 by Joseph Galbreath, the first public school teacher in Middletown.  He lived there until 1828 when the property was sold to John Mulford.  Thomas Ward bought the property in 1836, tore down the log cabin and built a Federal style brick house for $3,000 consisting of four rooms - two up and two down.

A brick addition was later built to provide more rooms and porches on both levels. When the house became an inn, a two story frame barn was built on the rear of the lot for stagecoach horses and sleeping quarters for the drivers.

As the stagecoach era ended, the tavern closed and the house was purchased by Gustave Wampler.  After a series of transfers around the turn of the century, the property was owned by Dr. David Bundy who used it as his office.  He later sold the house to the Schraffenberger family and they returned it for use as their family home for the next 40 years.

In 1953 Harold Getz Sr. purchased the building and redesigned it into offices for his architecture business.  It was then purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Herb Goren who used it as a gift shop and offices.

In 1983 local attorney Greg Pratt purchased the building. After extensive renovation the building housed the law office of Pratt and Buchert and the real estate offices of Robinson-Lawton-Kent. It received the Middletown Historic Preservation Council award in 1985.

The Middletown Historical Society purchased the building in 2000 as its headquarters where it houses rotating museum displays, permanent galleries, archive collection storage and offices.

The Pickwick Building takes its name from the "Pickwick Papers" penned by Charles Dickens in 1836, the same year the present structure was built.

Pickwick Building Museum Collections

The Middletown Historical Society has custody of several important collections including the Armco Steel collection, the Middletown Journal photo negative collection, the Corson Family collection as well as those of many local clubs and organizations, the City of Middletown,  Middletown City  Schools and others.

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The museum is open
Wednesday - Thursday
10 AM - 2 PM
Visit us at:
Middletown Historical Society
56 South Main Street
Middletown, Ohio 45042

To contact us, write to:
Middletown Historical Society
Box 312
Middletown, Ohio 45042

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Last Updated  02/01/2008