Trendy Bindi’s Boutique LLC
234 South Main St.
Waynesville, Ohio 45068
Your Source for All Things Fabulously Vintage
STETSON HOUSE HISTORY
The Stetson House
When we were still in the process of dreaming and planning on opening our shop, the place that we had always hoped to end up “some day” was an adorable little building in Waynesville, Ohio known as the Stetson House. Not only is the town itself lovely with its small town charm, excellent eateries and shops but we just loved this little cottage. In the later days of our planning we decided on a whim to stop by just to see if it happened to be available.
Amazingly enough, the owner of the Cranberry Bog (the previous business) had decided to retire and close shop and so we jumped at the opportunity. It is our hope that while we have a different direction with our shop, we can successfully hold our own in the very large (metaphorically speaking) shoes she left for us to fill. Hers was a much beloved shop and we could not have asked for a kinder and more generous person to help us as we moved in and opened. Thank you so much Carol!
As for the building itself, we are head over heals in love. Its charms continue to grow in our minds everyday. Also, as history lovers, our connection with the building’s past is very strong.
The Stetson House was built in 1810 by a wheelwright and his family. Local rumor has it that the building was originally a log cabin. If this is true, it would seem to be the front room would be the likeliest candidate hide these origins. It is the second oldest surviving building in Waynesville.
In the 1840s, the Larricks, a local farm family, purchased the home. It was at this time the kitchen was added in the back of the house (presently our green room where we display our vintage kitchen goodies and table linens). This is also where the building gets its name and Waynesville gets a claim to fame. The wife’s name was actually Louisa Stetson Larrick. She was from back East as they say but had married into the Larrick family. And yes, her family did own a hat business.
When her much-younger brother John, the black sheep of the family, became ill with Tuberculosis, he was advised by the doctors to head west to bake it out of his lungs. As he made the trip he stopped to visit with Louisa, her husband and their surviving children (Louisa and Hiram had ten children total). Louisa actually caught the disease. John then headed west, eventually being cured of his disease. He tried his hand at different tasks until he happened to design a hat that would change his life and become an integral part of the American identity—the Stetson cowboy hat.
With this creation on his mind, he returned home by way of Louisa’s home. There she gave him a hundred or sixty dollars (accounts vary) to use as seed money, a considerable amount at the time, especially considering the size of her family. This gave him the opportunity he needed to start his own business. He went on to become fantastically rich and an icon. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her disease and died July 18, 1879. She was a little over sixty years old. She was put to rest in the Miami Cemetery in the Larrick plot.
As far as anyone can tell, Louisa and her family were forgotten by her brother and never benefitted from the family business.
Louisa is said to still linger in the building and while we have never seen her, we always feel so cozy in our shop that she must be friendly. She was known for her gingerbread and, from time to time, people have smelled it in what was the kitchen. She is said to have the company of two other spirits with her.
You can find out more about the ghosts of Waynesville by taking the Museum at the Friends Home ghost tour.
The family remained in the building until close to the turn of the century when a young school teacher named either Lila or Lilla moved in and lived until her death in the 50s. In the 1980s an antique shop opened in the house, followed by Cranberry Bog in the 1990s and then us in 2007.
We don’t know much about the period between Lilla and the antique business so if you are familiar with the history of the building and could help fill in the missing pieces to the building’s history we would appreciate it.
We would also love to know any stories about the people who lived there, particularly Louisa and Lilla. It’s a long shot, but any copies of old pictures of the building or its residents would be treasured!
Thanks so much,