Introduction: Take a walk with me down the quiet shaded streets of Vermilion Ohio. It's a nice place to visit and live. At the turn of the 19th century it was but a lonely trading post near the mouth of the Vermilion river. Incorporated as a village in 1837 it quickly became a popular shipping port, and eventually a thriving boat building industry grew up along the banks of the river. Thus, it should come as no surprise that some of the boys who came of age in the busy lakeside village would yearn to sail upon the waters of the Great Lakes in these ships. Nor is it surprising that some of them would become master of their own vessels.

Because so many of these men chose to keep their land homes in the village they knew as children Vermilion soon became known as "the Village of Lake Captains".

So come take a virtual tour with me to see some of the homes these Captains built and, with their respective families, lived during their lives. Because most of the homes are private residences it is possible to only give you an opportuntity to see the interiors of but a few of them. However, I'm sure you will find the tour to be a very agreeable experience.[Kindly note that these are but a few of the Captains homes.]

Rich Tarrant

Tour Guide
October, 2006


Captain Moody House
Situated on the northwest corner of Exchange and South Street. Built in the early 1880's. vermilionohiov
Captain Walper House
On the southwest corner of South and Exchange Streets just across the street from the Captain Moody home. Built in 1899 - Queen Anne Style vermilionohiov
Captain Gilchrist, Sr. House
Located on the Southeast corner of Ohio and Grand Streets. The Captain was the Master of the W.H. Gilchrist about which many stories have been written. Built in 1875, it is one of Vermilion's older brick buildings. Italianate Style vermilionohiov

Captain Minch House

Located on the northeast corner of Grand and Ohio Streets.
Captain Minch was the owner of the ship "Western Reserve."
The house was built in 1857.
Late Greek Revival Style with an Italianate influence.


Captain Weeks House
Located just down the street from the Minch House
on the northeast corner of Ohio Street just east of Washington Street.
House built circa 1880
Queen Anne Style.

Captain Meyer's House
This home can be found on the northwest
corner of Perry and Ohio Streets.
Captain Meyer's skippered the ill-fated "Western Reserve"
(owned by Captain Minch)
which sank taking the lives of many Vermilion families."
Built in 1857.
Italianate Style.

Captain Bradley's Second House
Situated on the northeast corner of Decatur and Ohio Streets
this is Captain Bradley's 2nd house in Vermilion.
It is a "Stick Built" structure.
Built circa 1870.

Captain Young's House
Situated on the southwest corner
of Ohio and Decatur Streets
this home is now a Bed & Breakfast facility.
Built Circa 1860.
Traditional Greek Revival Style.

Some Interior photos in Captain Young's House
Captain Rae House
Located on the west side of Decatur Street just south
of the Conrail Railroad Tracks
across from Vermilion's Municipal Court Building.
Built Circa 1870.
Italianate Style.

Captain Bell House
Situated on the northwest corner of Liberty and Perry Streets
Captain Bell's house is now the home
of Tiffany's Flowers.
Built Circa 1870.
Italianate Style.

Captain J.C. Gilchrist's First House
Can be found on the northwest corner of Huron and Washington Streets.
It was moved to this site after he built
a much larger house about a half a block east of this location.
Built in 1885.
Vernacular Style.

Captain Alva Bradley's First House
Located on the south side of Huron Street
just one door east of Washington Street.
The Captain's family were good friends with
Thomas Alva Edison.
Ergo; his parents gave him the name "Alva".
Built in 1830.
Greek Revival Style.

Captain J.C. Gilchrist's Second House
Built on the the site of his first home on the north side of Huron Street
almost across the street from Captain Bradley's first home.
Once known as the Lakeside Inn it is now a Bed & Breakfast.
Built in 1885.
Italianate Style.

Some Gilchrist House interior photos.

Captain Miles Thompson House
Located on the east side of North Main Street
across the street from the Great Lakes Historical Society Museum.
Built in 1830.
Remodeled Greek Revival Style.

Captain Horton House
Situated on the north side of Ferry Street
the third house east of Washington Street.
Built circa 1869..
Gothic Revival Style.



Special Thanks To: Margaret Wakefield Worcester; Historic Vermilion, Inc.; Laura and Dan Roth - Gilchrist House Bed & Breakfast; Mrs. Ceil Zander - Captain Young Bed & Breakfast; and the Vermilion Area Archival Society.


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© 2006 Rich Tarrant