When growing up in Truro Township, Mary Jane Dawes Bolon called Reynoldsburg, Blacklick and Whitehall home -- all while living at the same Fairway Boulevard residence.
The family homestead that faces the Columbus Country Club -- initially addressed 336 Country Club Road -- was assigned to postal routes in each of those municipalities over the years, from the time Bolon's grandfather, Charles Foster Johnson, bought the property in 1913.
It was not until the early 1950s that the area was annexed into what then was the village of Whitehall that it was included in Postal Zone 13. We know it today as ZIP code 43213, which also encompasses much of east Columbus.
Bolon grew up in the house along with her siblings, parents and grandparents. Accessed now from Fairway Boulevard, the property once was a vast farm that Johnson purchased from an African-American man, she said, who moved from there "closer to Hamilton Road," Bolon recalled. Its location on the fairways of the Columbus Country Club drew Johnson to the area, where the family used the farmhouse as a summer home.
When not enjoying evenings on the house's many porches, the family lived in a large brick home on East Broad Street in Columbus, across from Broad Street Presbyterian Church. Bolon fondly recalled that, after the porches were built onto the expanded farmhouse, "we would (practically) live outside on the porches during the day, and enjoy the second-floor sleeping porches at night, because there of course was no air conditioning in those days."
Bolon recalled that during the Great Depression, the family moved permanently to the Fairway Boulevard house and sold the Broad Street property.
The multigenerational living arrangement was not a difficult lifestyle for the family, she said.
"It's unusual for three generations to live together so happily, and I think that my father and grandfather are to be commended for wanting to do this all together -- and it worked," she said.
Bolon and her siblings had no access to buses or trains to transport them to their Bexley elementary school, and later, Columbus School for Girls.
"We were really out in the country here," she said. "My grandfather and father would pile us into the car and take us to school on their way to work downtown in the Atlas building on East Long Street, and then often they'd pick us up on their way home."
As a real-estate developer, Johnson was instrumental in the development of central Ohio, having established some 97 neighborhoods, including Eastmoor, Bexley's Ardmore Addition, and Minerva Park and Beechwold in north Columbus.
According to "The History of Franklin County, Ohio" by Opha Moore, Johnson "individually and through the companies which he has organized and directed, developed millions of dollars worth of property in Columbus and Franklin County, as well as in other sections of the state and country. Some of the most important real-estate transactions, building and construction interests have centered in him."
Born in New Albany in 1879, he graduated from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1902. His legal knowledge drew him not to a career in law, but instead to the real-estate business.
He started numerous companies, including the Columbus Land Co. in 1908, and later organized and led other companies involved in real-estate development.
He volunteered for service in World War I and was assigned to duty in the quartermaster general's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
He was the founder of the Columbus Board of Realtors and stabilized the profession by writing its code of ethics in 1903, Bolon said. Toward the end of his career, he was a respected and highly sought-after master appraiser.
Bolon recalled that Johnson established Fairway Boulevard to be the best of his developments, with its many parcels facing the country club.
Residents whose names are familiar to central Ohioans have included Byers (Automotive), Hanna (Paint Co.), Zettler (Hardware), Wagenbrenner (Development) and Lane (Aviation).
But success in the real-estate business did not exempt Johnson from working around the house.
"Would you believe he would cut the entire lawn with a hand mower?" Bolon asked.
Johnson maintained a corn field and a vegetable garden "until the animals took over, so we finally went out to the Souders' in Gahanna to buy fresh produce right from the field. And then we'd have canning days, where we would all stand around the kitchen. It was really a farm kitchen in those days, but we had a kitchen table that we could sit around.
"I remember freezing -- that was an early (time for) freezing -- corn and succotash, and we all had our jobs.
"All of the families have gathered here annually and still do," Bolon said.
Her nephew, Henry Hauser, currently owns the house, and "generously welcomes us all back to the homestead."
As such, the residence could be the oldest one in Whitehall to be continually owned and occupied by the same family for more than 100 years.
Steve McLoughlin is past president of the Whitehall Historical Society.