Mary Lea Lucas
Deb SchwabenbauerLinks Section
CCHS & SUTTON-DITZ HOUSE MUSEUM
The Clarion County Historical Society was established in 1955 and chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1956 as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, educational institution.In the early years the Society collections were located on the third floor of the Clarion County Court House. As space at the Court House became filled, the Society began searching for a new home, and in 1976, twenty years after the founding of the Society, the John A. Ditz property on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Grant Street was purchased.The stately Sutton-Ditz House became the home of artifacts and collections illustrative of the history of Clarion County; its people, places, and industries.The Society library, archives and offices were also located at the Sutton-Ditz, but again, due to continued donations to the collections and an increase in library services, space became limited.
In 1999 a search began for yet another property . The Society desperately needed more space to maintain its administrative offices, library, archives and museum store. That space was found at 17 South Fifth Avenue, directly across the street from the Sutton-Ditz House Museum!The new building is known as the Milo Markle Annex and is the home of the Ralph J. and Virginia A. Fulton Library & Archives, the Thomas Sutton Store, and the Society's administrative offices.With newfound space at the Sutton-Ditz House Museum, many artifacts have been brought out of storage and are now being exhibited . A "Changing Exhibits" room is being prepared for new acquisitions and our Military Room has a new permanent showcase featuring "Women in Service".THE SUTTON-DITZ HOUSE
In 1839 a young attorney from Indiana, Pennsylvania moved his family to the newwly established town of Clarion, PA. His name was Thomas Sutton, grandson of Peter Sutton, a Revolutionary War veteran originally from New Jersey. In 1841 Thomas Sutton was accepted into the Clarion County Bar Association and quickly became a well respected and admired attorney.Nine years later, in 1850, he constructed a two-story rough brick structure on the south side of the Clarion Courthouse Square. It was a two-story rough brick home with a front and side porch.Sometime between 1841 and 1851 a small brick structured law office was constructed on the northeast corner of his property.
Sadly,the Sutton family enjoyed their new home for only three years. Mr. Sutton contracted typhoid fever and died on March 26, 1853 , and three days later his young son, Thomas, Jr., died of scarlet fever. Both are buried in the Clarion Protestant Cemetery. Mrs. Sutton and her remaining children moved shortly after the death of her husband and young son.The home saw a number of owners over the next half century. During the mid to late 1890's John Keller operated a school for young boys in the home, and in 1908 it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Ditz. Mr. Ditz owned the Ditz & Mooney hardware store.
Shortly after the Ditz family took possession, local residents were seeing many changes taking place at the former Sutton home. As owner of the local hardware store, Mr. Ditz had access to the finest lumber and other materials for his new home. The roof was raised to create a full third floor, finished brick was placed over the original rough brick, leaded glass windows were installed on the first floor and a large, balconied Greek Revival front porch and a two-story back porch were added to the home.
The interior was completely remodeled in 1909 , and the house still features the original open back staircase; oak, maple and chestnut woodwork , including carved mantles of the same woods in each room, and the original lighting fixtures. The home is a transitional representation of the late Victorian, Greek Revival,and early Arts and Crafts Movement.
After the depression years the Ditz family operated a "Tourist Home", today's equivalent of a Bed & Breakfast, in the house.Today, the home is maintained and operated by the Clarion County Historical Society as a museum with period rooms and exhibit spaces.
CCHS MEMBERSHIP! |
ANNUAL FUND DRIVE |
PHOTO ALBUM |
GENEALOGY RESEARCH |
COMMITTEES & VOLUNTEERS |
CCHS & SUTTON-DITZ HOUSE MUSEUM |
THOMAS SUTTON STORE | LICKING CHURCH RESTORATION | GOVERNANCE | HOME | WRITE US