HDC Starts Project at the Robbins Hunter Museum in Granville

HDC is currently preparing a Historic Structure Report for the Avery-Downer House (aka Robbins Hunter Museum). The high-style Greek Revival house was completed in 1842 and occupied by the Avery, Spelman, and Downer families until 1902, during which time an addition was constructed in 1875. The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity purchased the house in 1902 and sold it to the Kappa Sigma fraternity in 1928. Kappa Sigma created a large meeting room with exterior porch in 1930. In 1956, when nearby Dennison University began allowing fraternities on campus, the fraternity sold the house to Robbins Hunter, Jr.

Left: Southeast corner of the Avery-Downer House. The porch in the rear was added in 1930 by the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Right: The Victoria Woodhull memorial over the side entry to the rear of the original 1842 house. The wing to the right was moved here by Robbins Hunter and is currently leased to a retail store.

Hunter purchased the house with the intent of preserving it as a museum, and for the next 23 years furnished it with antiques worthy of its interior. He constructed a rear kitchen addition in 1965, and in 1973, built a fanciful octagonal room where he kept a desk and enjoyed playing the organ. After visiting a memorial to Victoria Woodhull in England (she was the first woman to run for president in 1872), Hunter learned that she was from Licking County and was determined to create the first memorial for her in the United States. He commissioned a clock tower bearing her likeness and donated it to the Village of Granville as a bicentennial gift. The house opened as a museum in 1981 under provisions of his will.


Left: The main stair to the second floor.  Right: the exterior door of the octagonal room constructed in 1973.