Do you love wine?
History? A house with a story?
Privacy, room for a garden, shady yards and wildlife?
The Helwig stone house could be yours.
This unusual stone house in the heart of Ohio’s wine country is just four miles south of Lake Erie and Geneva State Park and Marina. The resort town of Geneva-on-the-Lake is four miles to the north, as well.
Geneva: Gateway to Ohio’s Wine Country
The house is just two miles from the Route 534/Interstate 90 interchange. Shopping, banking, the library, groceries and restaurants are within walking distance. More than 20 wineries are within a 20-minute drive of the home. You’ll never get bored with the options or variety of tastes! And you’ll have enough land and space to grow your own grapes and make your wine at home!
City services include paid police and fire. Geneva Middle School is less than a mile from the house, as is the Geneva branch of Ashtabula County District Library. Geneva High School is about two miles away on Route 84.
The utilities are underground. Municipal water and sewer serve the property. The house has natural gas and cable connections.
The neighborhood is all residential, very quiet and very walkable. Most houses are in the $200K to $300K range and were built in the past 40 years. A new housing allotment, Behringer Court, is to the south of the neighborhood.
Dogs and their owners have plenty of side streets to explore. There are sidewalks all the way to downtown, a little over a mile away. A dog park is about one mile from the home. SPIRE sports and educational complex is 1.5 miles from the house. The Ashtabula County Harpersfield Covered Bridge/Grand River, is just three miles from the home and features many water-related/hiking activities.
The story of the rock house
The house is sited in a former farming area. It was built using boulders dug up during farming operations in this area and throughout Ashtabula County. Clarence Helwig, the builder, uncovered the rocks while converting the former fields and forest to an apple orchard; fruit growing has always been an important part of the Geneva/Harpersfield economy due to the area’s proximity to Lake Erie and high elevation. That industry has shifted to grape growing and wine production. The last of the old apple trees from the Helwig orchard was cut down in the spring of 2020. Wood from that tree will transfer with the house.
A small apple orchard has been planted and the trees began to bear in 2020. The varieties include Cortland, Tolman Sweet, Golden Delicious and many others.
In addition to the boulders and rocks, the house has bricks and sandstone blocks salvaged from building demolitions in its walls. These walls are more than a foot thick on the first level and even thicker in the basement/foundation. The rock and robust construction surround the home’s occupants with a sense of security, peace, healing and safety.
The house was nearly lost to neglect. It was abandoned by the prior owners and vacant for more than four years. During that time, a large hole in the roof was left unaddressed and water infiltrated the house, resulting in black mold throughout much of the property. All affected drywall and wood was removed before renovation began in the spring of 2015. The house received new drywall in most rooms, the knotty pine paneling was refinished with furniture-grade polyurethane, the hardwood floors were sanded and repaired, and new laminate flooring was laid in the basement, office and throughout the second floor. That floor was added in 1980 by a prior owner.
Mature red oak trees grow on the property, which is nearly 2 acres, very unusual for a city lot. In restoring the house, the decision was made to purchase native red oak boards for the trim in the kitchen, living room, laundry room, both baths and the master bedroom. The trim ranges in width from 3 inches to 5 1/2 inches.
The front entryway provides a quiet location for reading and features two large metal-framed metal windows salvaged from an industrial demolition decades ago. A mix of double-hung wood/metal storm and Anderson double-pane windows is on the first floor; the second floor has all new, tilt-in double-pane windows.
The living room with its new brown-enamel woodstove perched on a pad made from slate salvaged from a Meadville, Pa., mansion, is the heart of this home. There are many stories in this room. The beams that support the barn door are from the original home construction; the ceiling was raised a foot during renovation and the beams salvaged. They were cut from trees on the property and have been used throughout the house as practical accents. The barn door is from a former dairy farm in Rock Creek. The unusual shelf brackets came from a store building constructed in 1850 in Cherry Valley Township. The light fixture with its Edison bulbs is a former livestock yoke from a farm in the area.
The living room is accessed from the kitchen and front door, with a small entry area to the front yard. The tile is from the Meadville, Pa., mansion.
The wood stove is new in the fall of 2020. It is a Jotul stove, made in Maine, and with a brown enamel finish. The stove ties into a stainless steel liner.
The brick backwall was added in 2015 during the renovation. In speaking with the builder’s daughter, I learned that a woodstove was previously in the living room. She said her late father loved to sit by the fire at night in his rocking chair and read the encyclopedia. His wife had a piano in the room. While we’ve not added a piano, the stove was a must in keeping to the spirit of this home.
The office is off the living room and can be closed off with the barn door. The ceilings in this room and the adjacent laundry room were raised one foot during renovation. This exposed part of the chimney, which was left intact to add to the rustic feel of the room. Bold, highly grained boards were hand picked for the trim around the two windows. Shelves were built on two of the walls around the top of the area where the original knotty pine paneling ended. Because the rock walls create irregular widths, it was necessary to enclose one section of the wall and thus create a deep storage space.
If you work from home, as I do, this office is a quiet, soothing space that is close to the kitchen; laundry is right around the corner.
The downstairs bath was added in 2015. It is a full bath with an old barn door.
The kitchen was remodeled in 2020. It features sold red oak countertops custom built in Middlefield, Ohio, by Amish craftsmen. The porcelain sink is new, as is the fixture. All cabinets were painted. The walls were textured and painted to give the look of a farmhouse kitchen. The range has electric hookup and transfers, along with the refrigerator. Both were purchased 2015.
The basement is in three sections. The first is a utility/storage area that runs the length of the house. The gas, forced-air furnace is located in this area. All ducts were cleaned following the renovation. The furnace ducts are for the first floor only; due to the stone construction, there was no wall space in which to run ductwork.
The water heater is gas and new in 2015. There is a laundry area with a utility tub and lots of room for storage.
The house was originally heated with a stone fireplace in the basement. This fireplace has a gas insert that heats all of the basement. The bookcases and mantle were built from lumber salvaged from the house and a barn.
A pull-down screen converts this family room with laminate flooring into a home theater. The screen, 90 inches wide, stays with the house.
A small workshop area is to the rear of this room. Additionally, there is a room with a dirt floor and no windows off the main basement area. This room would be idea for a wine cellar; it is unheated. Of the family room is a room approximately four by four feet, very useful for storage. It is heated and has a floor drain.
Bedrooms are on the second floor. The main bedroom is 30 feet by 18 feet and has laminate flooring. Originally restored to accommodate an entire family visiting from out of town, it is presently being used for storage. It has two closets, one 6-feet long, the other approx. 3-by-3 feet.
The guest or master bedroom, as you prefer, has an adjoining full bath with a jet-tub and tiled shower. The flooring is tile.
The bedroom is L shaped. A wall of wood frames the headboard of a queen bed. Flooring is laminate.
The house is accessed from Sherman Street down a 400-foot-long driveway lined with hemlock and pine trees.
The garage is built of stone and has metal roofs, new in 2015. There are two large bays with room for a small workshop area at the front. Steps lead up to the garage attic, with much storage space and the possibility of finishing into a studio. Automatic garage door openers are on the two new (2017) doors.
Total living space is approximately 1950 square feet, not including basement storage spaces. Further information about this property can be found on the Ashtabula County Auditor’s website.
Please note that the auditor’s value does not include many of the recent updates. We have priced the home according to recent sales in the neighborhood, plus premiums for the larger, secluded lot, which is four to six times the size of the typical lot in this neighborhood; historical significance; unusual construction/materials; and aesthetics of the property and residence.
Please feel free to send an email for more information or to view the home in person. Or call Carl’s cell at 440-415-3596.
The property is offered at $289,000; offers considered, however, we cannot accept contingency offers. Customary seller closing costs will be paid by the seller. Only qualified buyers. Please respect our privacy.
- Storage & utility area, 10×32 feet, concrete floor.
- Family room/home theater, 21×15 feet, laminate floor over concrete
- Storage room off family room, 6×8 feet
- “Dark Room” (no windows, block walls, unheated), 9×12 feet
- Side door porch, 3.5×10 feet, concrete
- Kitchen entry: 6.5x 4.5 feet, vinyl flooring
- Kitchen: 11×21 feet, vinyl flooring
- Living Room: 14.5 x 22 feet, hardwood (red oak)
- Alcove/reading nook: 6 x 8 feet, tile
- Office: 15 x 8.5 feet, laminate over hardwood
- Laundry/pantry: 15 x 8 feet, hardwood
- Full bath (shower, no tub): 8 x 12 feet, stone
- Bath (full, jet tub): 6 x 9.5 feet, ceramic tile
- Bedroom: 15 x 13 feet, laminate
- Bedroom: 17 x 24 feet, laminate (includes 2 closets)
- Garage area, two cars, 24 feet deep, 19.5 feet wide
- Attic area above garage has same dimension.
- Wood shed: 12 x 24 feet
- Storage/workshop room at rear of woodshed
12 x 20 feet, open ceiling 9 feet.
Side Porch: Entry to house, 3.5 x 10 feet
All inquiries, please call 440-415-3596 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org