The Harbine House...

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The Harbine House The Harbine House Greene County

As you approach U.S. Route 35, prepare to head east on Heller Drive.  Ahead of you was a lane that once traversed an orchard of over 300 fruit trees!  The majestic Georgian Colonial home on the cul-de-sac across the highway, appropriately named Orchard Lane, was constructed by John Harbine for he and wife Hettie in 1832. Historical accounts conflict as to whether John and Hettie lived in the log cabin at its original location during the construction of the Harbine House.  It might have been moved a short distance in 1825 to what eventually became the front yard of the new Harbine residence.

The home was in the Harbine family for 117 years.  A self-contained establishment, they raised grain, livestock, fruit and vegetables; they milled the grain, dried, stored and canned fruits and vegetables, butchered beef and made soap.  Their cattle provided milk and butter for the family.  Linen was woven from flax fiber, all onsite!

In 1944, the Heller family purchased the home and remaining 75 acres with plans to extensively improve the homestead.  A few years later, the State planned a new expressway; the design would cause the razing of the Heller home.  A five-year legal battle ensued with the State finally agreeing to a curve in the U.S. Route 35 to save the home.  The orchard and seclusion were destroyed.  Several small tracts are still owned by the Heller family.

The home was purchased by the Children’s Services Board in 1988 as a group home.  It was sold in 2015 at auction to the adjacent car dealer, sealing its fate.  Another, higher bid had been received at the 11th hour that would have ensured survival of the Harbine-Heller home, but was rejected by the county commissioners.  The home was bulldozed in 2017.  We don't know if any of the artifacts were salvaged prior to razing.

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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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