The Barlow Farm

Excerpts from Lawton Ancestral Lines by Frederick Brown Lawton

"At the time the James Lawton family immigrated to the Northwest Territory (now southeastern Ohio), the general store at Marietta, their closest settlement, was the first store west of the Alleghenies.

 "In 1818, at a trail junction some 20 miles west of Marietta now called Barlow, James Lawton completed the construction of a good brick house.  The bricks were fired on the site from clay dug from a deposit on the property.  A large clear never dry spring with quicksand at the bottom furnished their water.  The location of the house was chosen because of the spring.  Also a little rill flowed through the farm.  At one place was a small rapids and a pool called the Falls.  Here the sheep were washed at shearing time.  One night Susannah was alone in the log cabin that preceded the brick home.  James was away in Marietta.  There was no door to the cabin, only a curtain of some kind, and it was very lonesome there in the forest.  She could hear a panther screaming.  A storm blew up and it rained very hard.  There was a knock at the door jamb and a man entered seeking shelter from the storm.  He stood inside until it was over, holding the bridle of his horse that stood just outside.  She was not frightened at the presence of this total stranger, and used to say that she was never so glad in all her life for the company of another human being."

“I write this in the room where I was born; in the house in which my father first saw the light of day and remained until long after he had attained his majority; where my grandfather had his home for sixty years; and where my great-grandfather in the prime of manhood and with the energies of a vigorous career selected this beautiful spot for a home.

 “The builder and his son sleep in honored graves on the hillside yonder.  Their modest gravestones ascribe to each a life of more than eighty years, and by the side of the elder James Lawton---for both my grandfather and great-grandfather bore that name--reposes the remains of my great-grandmother who lived to be 88.  Their length of days truthfully suggests their simple, honorable living.  Great-grandfather and Great-grandmother Lawton, both of Quaker parentage and training emigrated from Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1796 and settled in this county.  It was when great-grandfather exchanged a river farm for this land that he came here, and in 1818 built this house.  Sacred for family associations, it is a monument to his abilities and industry.  Its heavy brick walls have housed three generations of Lawtons, and a fourth generation enjoys its comfortable shelter at this writing.

 “The builder’s handiwork is evidenced throughout the structure in its plan, its finish and durability.  Though additions have been constructed and changes made, the original house has been preserved.  The doors of solid walnut have hickory latches handmade that are symmetrical, artistic and after a service of three-quarters of a century are graced by the wear of many hands.

 “My grandmother sits in her chair in this room.  Tomorrow, she too will be 88.  She is a charming lady, small in stature, gentle in manner, bright-faced and clear in thought and conversation.  She is active and interesting, kindly and honest in expression.  She has every faculty alert.  Though somewhat lame, she moves in comfort about the house and grounds and assumes some household duties.  Seated there she has related many interesting facts of former days about my parents and other relatives.  Her memory is keen and positive, and with a contented spirit she sheds a light toward both the past and the future for the kind friends about her, as in her declining years she pursues her pilgrimage beloved and honored.

 “In this room my own mother, deceased last year, kept house.  Some souvenirs of those days of happiness and care yet remain.  I look into the open fireplace, and my mind is filled with visions of the past, pictured by imagination in the light of her beautiful character and devotion.

 “I reverence this old house and this room of precious memories, and the aged and gentle occupant who now calls it her own.  I view the premises and green fields about with absorbing interest, admiring the well kept grounds, the old farm, the comfortable old homestead, and wish for the honored abode, kind treatment and the housing of many more descendants of its builders.”

             Frederick Brown Lawton, Barlow, Ohio, May 11, 1894.

Click Here to view a picture of the house at the Barlow Farm

Click Here to view a picture of the original fireplace at the Barlow Home

Click Here to view a picture of the spring house at the Barlow Farm

Click Here to view a picture of the family cemetery at the Barlow Farm

Click Here to view a picture of the falls along the creek at the Barlow Farm


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