Henry Fearing House Museum opens for the season

The Henry Fearing House Museum (Harmar Village), 131 Gilman Avenue, Marietta, which is owned and sponsored by the Washington County Historical Society, opened for the season which runs from May 2 through October on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is donations only. For weekday private tours of less than 10 persons, call 374-3871, 374-3871; 373-9437; WCHS Office, 373-1788.

New managers are Glen Wolfe and Mary Jo Hutchinson. They have been members of the WCHS and docents at the Henry Fearing House for close to eight years. Both have been very active historians in Marietta; and have for many years now had involvement in the Campus Martius Museum. It is common to see them at historic events dressed in ‘period costumes’ which they have handmade. For the past five years they have assumed the additional responsibilities at the Henry Fearing Museum of expanding the Civil War Exhibit, coordinating interesting historic exhibits in the Display Room, E.g. antique kitchen utensils, clothing of yesteryear, antique toys representing the 1850-1950. For the past several years they have coordinated Christmas displays reminiscent of the 1800s including various eras of decorative Christmas trees in each room. They travel extensively throughout the Eastern U.S. to historic sites. They hold memberships in several historical organizations and societies beyond Marietta.

Former managers Robert /Judy Hill and co-manager, Gretchen Otto, have retired and are moving on leaving the Museum in the hands of Glen and Mary Jo.

This Federal style house was built for Henry Fearing in 1847 in Harmar Village a block away from the Old Fort Harmar. Originally it had eight rooms; however only four have survived. A later addition on the south end of the house affords the house a first floor newer kitchen and a second floor special exhibit room. Henry Fearing, a business agent, in Marietta and Washington County was the son of Paul Fearing, one of the original Pioneers, was the first Lawyer in Washington County. Paul lived in the Harmar Fort and likely that is where Henry was born. Henry outlived two wives and fathered six children; three sons and three daughters. One son, Benjamin Dana Fearing became a Brigadier General in the Civil War, thus, the display room exhibits a small Civil War exhibit.

The Washington County Historical Society purchased the vacant structure 40 years ago, in 1974 from local owner and Harmar Village business man, Charles Williams. The Historical Society spent the next nine years totally restoring the house with furnishings that represent how middle class families lived in the 1800’s. A display case in the Sitting Room houses displays items that belonged to the Fearing family. An upstairs Master bedroom displays furniture and accessory items, including family historical framed paintings, furnished by the Dr. Richard, and wife, Sally Hille, from the Hille estate in Washington County. The second bedroom was furnished by the Seyler family of Marietta.

The Henry Fearing House Museum was opened to the public for tours in 1983.