Sunday, August 7, 2016

Shadows of the Past

On December 7, 2015, the Crawford County Historical Society took ownership of the James and Elizabeth Tarr Mansion, thus saving it from planned demolition. In that moment, thanks largely to the support of the community, the society took a major step towards both preserving our past and building a new future.

This gorgeous Italianate building, designed by Francis Marion Ellis and paid for with the Tarr Family's $2 million (over $35 million today) in revenue from the Oil Boom, was a testament to oil's influence in our region and the nation as a whole. The Tarrs were one of our country's first oil barons and their home of over 12,000 square feet will stand the test of time to become the self-sustaining Crawford County Historical Society's headquarters and history center!

Since then we have wasted no time in restoring this beautiful building. Volunteers have work tirelessly to return the north wing of the first floor to its original 1867 footprint, and in doing so, have made some incredible discoveries—large doors trapped within the walls, ornate wood trim hiding above suspended ceilings, and many, many relics from decades before. You can see many of these findings as well as the Tarr Mansion’s story in Jeremy Loewer’s eight-minute documentary, Shadows of the Past.

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