Welcome to the Christian Waldschmidt Homestead
Hours: May through October on Sundays, 1 to 5 pm
Special tours can be provided on weekdays.
Location: 7567 Glendale Milford Road Camp Dennison, Ohio 45111 (located on Ohio State Route 126 between the towns of Indian Hill and Milford)
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In 1794, Christian Waldschmidt, a veteran of the American Revolution, moved his family to a site on the Little Miami River and built a new community called New Germany. In 1804, he built his home, which included a store. Waldschmidt was a businessman and encouraged new settlement, staffing a church and helping to found a school, and beginning industries vital to the survival of his new home, such as Ohio's first paper mill, a cooperative distillery, woolen mill, sawmill, and a blacksmith shop.
During the Civil War, the house and surrounding grounds were part of Camp Dennison, used primarily as a general training center, recruiting depot, and hospital post, and named in honor of Governor William Dennison. The main house, now known as Waldschmidt House, served as the headquarters for General Joshua Bates.
Over the years, the house fell into disuse and near ruin. In 1941, Mr. and Mrs. Chester Kroger of Cincinnati, who had purchased the property, gave the house to the Ohio Society Daughters of the American Revolution (OSDAR), and donated $5,000 to start the restoration. Immediately following WWII, OSDAR began the restoration. In 1953, the house was dedicated and opened to the public as a museum.
OSDAR purchased adjoining property, including a smaller fieldstone house that Christian Waldschmidt built for his daughter when she married. This house was used as a guard house for Camp Dennison during the Civil War, and was restored and opened as the Camp Dennison Civil War Museum in 1998. The Ohio Society continues to collect objects of interest to the period.
In 1989, the Ohio Society completed the construction of the Memorial Barn, honoring the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance. It now houses an extensive collection of primitive stone cutting and farm tools, as well as a restored Conestoga wagon. The Memorial Barn is used for meetings and other programs of the OSDAR.
The Christian Waldschmidt House is considered one of the best examples of Pennsylvania Dutch architecture west of the Alleghenies. Since the opening of the house, DAR members have researched and collected pieces of early Americana, and the furnishings include many original pieces used by the Waldschmidt family. Criteria for acceptance of items as gifts to the house are: 1) prior to 1831; 2) Civil War period relating to Camp Dennison; 3) any artifact belonging to Christian Waldschmidt or his descendants.
The Ohio Society Daughters of the American Revolution believe it has a unique heritage which should be preserved for future generations. We welcome the challenge of assisting in the development of a greater understanding and appreciation for the past. Volunteer docents guide visitors through the homestead, including the Waldschmidt House, Memorial Barn, and Civil War Museum.
OSDAR provides various learning opportunities for the youth of the community. These activities foster a love of history and promote the ideals of the men and women who achieved American independence. Tours with age-appropriate activities of the early 1800s are available to schools, scouts, and other youth groups.
In addition, the OSDAR provides an opportunity to earn the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) American Heritage Merit Badge. Activities to fulfill all the requirements of the badge in one session have been pre-selected and a curriculum has been developed. The merit badge program is offered monthly, June through October. Register early to guarantee your troop's place.