Recently we undertook some research on the old house “formerly known as Red Oaks”. It is currently part of a cluster of buildings that include the Fred Astaire Dance Studio and Brother’s Field. Here’s what we found…

The house was probably built around 1884 by Mine Lemker. Mine was a widow whose husband had recently died. She built the house on land she bought after her husband’s farm was sold. The house has had several owners since then.

The earliest maps of the area show no house there in 1861. But by 1885, a map shows a house owned by Mrs. Lemker. Records of land sales also show Mine Lemker bought the property in 1883. So the house was likely built between 1883 and 1885 by Mine Lemker.

Later owners of the house included the Rupert, Quentin, Cordes, and Hershberger families. The Hershbergers owned the house the longest from 1918 to 1963. In 1963 they sold it to Bob McNitt who opened the Red Oaks antique business there.

There are some stories about the house being older or built in different ways, but records like maps and land sales make it likely the house was built around 1884 by Mine Lemker. After many owners, it eventually became the Red Oaks Furniture store in the 1960s, until that business closed in 2016.

Here’s a link to the full report:

History of the House Known as Red Oaks.pdf