The Orange Johnson House, a 19th-century home in Worthington, is reported to be turning 200 years old this year.

The house, 956 High St., was believed to have been built by Aurora Buttles in 1811. No exact date is known.

The house is owned and maintained by the Worthington Historical Society.

Curator Sue Whitaker said the Federal-style wing in the front of the house is the portion that will turn 200.

In 1816, the property was sold to Orange Johnson, a hornsmith, who added the Federal style wing.

Whitaker said the house has been open to the public for tours since the early 1970s after the historical society acquired it in 1963. She said the society has been raising money as part of the bicentennial campaign to finish restorations and address issues that have included deterioration since it was restored 50 years ago.

"Part of our bicentennial campaign is take forward what the original shareholders who were saving the house were able to do," she said.

Whitaker said the roof and windows recently were replaced. She said the society uncovered a photograph of the building at the Ohio History Connection that showed the stars and circles surrounding the entryway, which is what originally would have been on the house.

Whitaker said the society wants to add a stoop and tone down the front entryway to be more historically accurate.

"When they restored the first time, they did a lot of wonderful things and I think that what they did was kind of fanciful with the planter boxes and everything. We know that wasn't here," she said.

The society has raised more than $90,000 for the restoration, which includes a $36,000 appropriation from City Council on April 1. The society needs $150,000 in funds to complete the project.

Kate LaLonde, historical society director, said the plan is to start work this summer, but thte society will proceed and do what is possible with the money raised thus far.

"The Worthington Historical Society is a great partner to the city, and we are excited to support them in the bicentennial of the Orange Johnson House. It helps tell the story of Worthington's earliest days that laid the foundation for our community," said city spokesperson Anne Brown.

A collection of photos titled "200 Years at the Orange Johnson House" will be on display in the Worthington room at the Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., throughout May.

LaLonde said they would discuss the overall history and celebrate the bicentennial of the house at a meeting at 7 p.m. June 12 at the Griswold Center. The event is open to the public. The house also will be part of the society's Worthington Tour of Homes & Gardens on July 14.

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