Rufus P. Stone, grandson of General Rufus Putnum, settled on this 1,000
acre farm and built a wooden farmhouse here in 1818. In 1855, John E.
Thomas purchased the original farmhouse and 600 acres from the heirs
of Rufus P. Stone. Thomas enlarged the farmhouse into the present
manor house with a large sandstone addition in 1857. The farm was
known for its extensive orchards and fine livestock, including cattle,
sheep, and high quality saddle horses. Thomas, dressed in silk hat,
frock coat, and all the finery of the day, rode one of his fine saddle
horses around the estate supervising farm laborers. He developed an
enclosed nature preserve on the farm for breeding and raising deer that
were nearly extinct in Ohio in the 1850s. Thomas later acquired 200
more acres of the original acres for a total of 800 acres.