Formed in 1958 the Clermont County Historical Society has recorded Clermont County Ohio history for over 50 years.
Did you know that the oldest structure in Clermont County Ohio is located at 299 South Third Street in Williamsburg? It is the Dairy House at Harmony Hill, the homestead site of Major General William Lytle, founder of our town.
In 1796, Lytle founded our town and chose 500 acres of prime property for his home. He named his homestead site “Harmony Hill”, and there, in 1800, John Charles built Lytle’s home, dairy house and land office. From the porch of his home he could look over the East Fork valley and see travelers on the Dela Palma Road (the main route to the Ohio State capitol in Chillicothe). He was a surveyor, and he sold thousands of acres of land from this historic site. He also served as the County’s first Post Master and Clerk of Courts.
A decision was made after the Williamsburg Bicentennial Celebration in 1996, to form a committee called the Harmony Hill Association. This committee, consisting of Lucy Snell, Marty MacVeigh, Izella Cadwallader and James Lefferson, were to look into acquiring and restoring the dairy house, the only original building left. In 1997, they were able, with the help of others in the community, to raise $115,000 to purchase the Harmony Hill property and move forward with the restoration. The historical and architectural significance of the dairy house was acknowledged when it was listed in 2001 on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Another goal of the committee was the establishment of a museum at the location. This, also, has become a reality. The museum is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and by special appointment. There are many interesting items on display pertaining to Lytle and Williamsburg. The Clermont County Historical Society also has an office and museum in the building.
The Association sponsors “History Week” each year in April for Williamsburg Elementary School 4th grade students. During the week, guest speakers go into the school and talk to the students about local, county and state history. Harmony Hill will also be included on several Underground Railroad tours throughout the coming year.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Harmony Hill organization or if you have any items you would care to donate or loan to the museum, call 724-7824.