Before 2016, there once stood a beautiful house known as the Manse of Muskingum University. Built in 1906, as a negotiation for the twelfth president, John Knox Montgomery, stood on the hill of Muskingum University. The Manse was built with a wooden frame and consist of twelve rooms altogether. Sadly, the Manse no longer is with Muskingum University due to the fact of it being torn down in 2016, however the space is a beautiful lot to look out on the small town of New Concord. The Manse may be gone, but the memory will stay with the campus forever.
The president’s home was built in the year 1906 as a bargain
for the new president coming to Muskingum University. John Knox Montgomery was
the twelfth president of Muskingum University and was presented with the Manse
when his family arrived from South Carolina. John Knox Montgomery would only move
his family states away if there was a home for them. The Manse then became home to all the
president except one since its beginning with president Montgomery. The Manse
was built as a frame house, which was very common then, with a wood siding and an
open wrap around porch that went from one side of the home to the other. Later
in 1922, an upgrade of brick veneer was added onto the house. Brick was more
popular and many of the other buildings on campus had a brick siding. There was
also an upgrade to the roof as well. The roof had a red tile look that was to
match with the nearby newly built buildings, Montgomery Hall and Brown Chapel.
Within recent years, part of the porch has been enclosed.
Looking over the main entrance to Muskingum, the Manse stood
tall and beautiful until 2016 when the demolition began. The upkeep of the
Manse was far too expensive for the University to put money towards. The Board
of Trustees decided that it was best to spend the money to repair what was
needed to the academic building than to fix up the old Manse. This was sad,
however, the cost to fix the foundation, plumbing, electrical, and roof would
come close to two million dollars. The Trustees of the University decided spend
the money elsewhere and let the Manse go. Even though the Trustees had a tough
decision to make, there were efforts to support the Manse and fight to keep it
standing. One way of keeping its history alive was the Manse being added to the
list of endangered historical sites on the statewide non-profit organization,
Preservation Ohio Website. This website was made to bring attention to old
historical building that were in the danger of being torn down. Some of the historical
building on the list did survive, sadly the Manse did not.
Although the Manse is no longer standing, it had a wonderful
and loving life. Before the Manse was built, the students, local faculty, and
even some of the citizens of New Concord and Cambridge came together raise
money for the Presidents home. When it was officially built, the Manse costed
16,318 dollars to build. It was two stories tall with an 8 foot basement to
complete it. As mentioned earlier, the home had twelve rooms and was 50 feet
long by 33 feet wide and was 19 feet tall (not including the basement). Not only was the house big a beautiful, but
there has even been a famous U.S. President stayed the night here. U.S.
President Warren Harding spoke at Muskingum commencement and stayed the night
at the Manse.
The Manse was a historical building that couldn’t be saved.
Although many have put much effort into saving the home. It was just not met to
be. In late July, the demolition began, and the Manse became a part of
Muskingum history. Being that the Manse was demolished in 2016, many student,
faculty, and staff at Muskingum still remember the beautiful home that once
stood on the hill.