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Photo of the Westview House, now owned by the
Senko family and located at 649 Youngstown-Warren Rd. aka Rt.
422. Legend has it that this was a stagecoach inn during the early
days of the settlement. PO1.1495
Aerial view, looking east and
south, of the intersection of State Route 422 and Niles-Vienna
Road taken in 1973. Blotts Farm Market, family house and fields
are centered in the photograph. The Blott farm first was a dairy
and chicken farm, then raised white-faced beef cattle, pigs
and chickens, exotic animals-pheasants, and eventually became
a truck farm.
The Carlisle Home is on the opposite
side of Route 422 across from the Blott home on the west corner
of Niles-Vienna Road.
Crawford’s Home is the white
house farther down 422 on the same side as the Carlisle home.
There is a small gas station on
the north-east side of the intersect and a restaurant, Hake's,
on the north-west corner.
Article appeared in the Niles Times Monday July 17,
By Grace Allison
Like all communities of the 19th century, Weathersfield Township
had many one-room school houses. The school system’s No.
10 school stood on the west side of Youngstown-Warren Road (U.S.
422) in the area where the Trumbull County Convention Bureau is
The key for District School No. 10 was kept at the farm house
across the road from the school and drinking water had to be carried
from it to the school. That farmhouse, which is still standing,
has had a lengthy and interesting life.
An Old Stagecoach Stop
If only that white frame house, which sits quite close to the
highway on the east side of U.S. 422, could talk! It would have
so much to tell!
For this house has been a friend to man on many occasions for
ever so long. It was a regular stopping point for passengers riding
the stagecoach between Cleveland and Youngstown, Pittsburgh, or
wherever during the pioneering years of this area.
John Kinsman, a prominent Warren businessman at one
time, purchased the land on which the house sits, as well as the
surrounding acreage, from the Connecticut Land Company. He then
sold it to John Heel, who came to this area from east
of the Allegheny Mountains. In fact, the four corners where U.S.
422 and Niles-Vienna Road intersect was named for him- Hake’s
Corners (Heek’s descendants spelled their surname ‘Hake’).
During those early days, a log cabin stood in the backyard of
the present frame house at 649 Youngstown Road and it was probably
built by Heek.
Frederick Plott bought this farm from Heek and then
Benjamin Jackson became the owner in 1854 and built the
present house, using timber that had been cut on the property.
Much of the timber was either oak or poplar.
On February 25, 1856 Jackson and his
wife deeded their home and 67 acres to J.H. and Sarah
Romig, who lived there for eight years; and on May 20, 1864
they deeded it to Benjamin and Mary Rayen Leach.
There are no history lessons nor family diaries
to enlighten historians as to this house’s involvement as
a stagecoach inn-just a story tucked in a bottle, that will be
mentioned later. However, it’s very possible that Jackson
built this house primarily for a stagecoach stop, since the years
he and the Romigs owned the property was the era of stagecoach
lines. Also, the log house that predated the frame house could
well have been a stopping point for the weary traveler. Who’s
to say? And, perhaps business at the log cabin warranted more
Leach, a Hubbard merchant, was one of the earlier
manufacturers of potash. He and Mary had eight children and they
lived in the house from 1864 until 1898, when they went to Niles
to live with their son, Stewart.
Four years later, The Leaches sold the buildings and 67 acres
to Henry G. Higley, who sold 26 acres of the farm,
including the frame house and other buildings to Jeremiah
Cowen Murray in 1904. Murray named his new home
As Westview presently exists, Murray added the front porch,
which has a cement floor and an enclosed porch on the north
side, adjoining the large kitchen.
Nick and Eva Senko purchased
Westview in 1938, and during renovation, found a blue glass
bottle in one wall. The bottle contained a 1902 penny and a
paper that related the history of the property from the Leach
family, it’s possible they deposited these items in that
hiding place. The Senkos returned the items to their secret
spot before closing up the wall.
In the late 1920s and even today, the kitchen
could easily serve as a dining room also due to its size. However,
beyond the kitchen was the formal dining room and passing through
double doors on the back wall, you entered a room used as an
office by Murray.
Next to the dining room was an entrance hall,
and beyond the hall stood the formal parlor, with a parlor bedroom
in back. In the front hall there was originally a winding staircase,
evidently built in that manner to save space. Murray tore it
out and put in a modern hardwood staircase.
The big brass key for the front door weighed
nearly a quarter of a pound and it had such a long handle on
it that the current owners had it ‘reworked’ so
it isn’t so large nor heavy, yet serves its intended purpose.
Initially, the upstairs hallway ran from north
to south and one side of the floor could be converted into a
ballroom by opening folding paneled doors between the two rooms.
Also, there were five small bedrooms on the second floor and
at some time, these rooms no doubt accommodated weary overnighters
passing through on the stagecoaches.
After Murray’s renovation work, the hallway
ran through the upstairs from east to west with a second stairway
in the back area of the house leading to the second floor. He
also enlarged the sleeping rooms and built clothes closets in
For a great many years after this nearly 135-year-old
home (1989) was built, tallow candles served as the only means
of illumination during evening hours. The candles were made
there on the farm, a dozen to the mold.
Mrs. Leach even used candles during the early post-Civil War
days when her family resided in this house, and then the gas
lamps and later kerosene lamps became the mode of illumination.
Electricity was not installed until sometime after Murray bought
the house. What a job the electricians and plumbers, had getting
their installations in place, for this was no ‘prefab’
package with its solid, thick walls and heavy beams in its foundation.
The Senko family was well-known as the proprietor
of a roadside market for many years. Today the second generation
of the Nick Senko family enjoys Westview, that house by the
side of the road.