Citation: A. R. Webber, Life of John Baldwin, Sr. of Berea, Ohio (The Caxton Press, 1925), 29.
The noted “Old Red House,” built in 1831 home for fifty years of John and Mary Baldwin, in which their family was born and reared, in the cellar of which he shaped the first Berea grindstone. The birthplace of the schools and colleges he founded. No longer standing
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
Ott Memorial Manual Training School and Gymnasium was built in 1907. Built on East Center St., its cornerstone was laid on June 2, 1907. Mrs. Mary A. Ott had it built in memory of her late husband, Henry Ott, and her deceased daughter Miss Ida Ott, and donated the building to the Methodist Orphanage. It served originally as a manual arts school and provided gymnasium facilities for children of the orphanage. 27 The building was a large two-story, brick structure including a basement. An office, drawing room, and a part of the manual training department were located on the first floor. The swimming pool was also located on the first floor. The gymnasium was located on the second floor. Mrs. Ott, of Louisville, Kentucky, not only equipped the school and gymnasium with the best machinery and apparatus, but also paid the teachers and supplied the material. She also had a power house built to supply all the buildings of the orphanage with light and heat, at a cost of $45,000. Mr. H. L. Ott also contributed greatly to the building with his time and means.
The building and school had not been operated since the Northeast Ohio Methodist Conference took over operation of the Children's Home in 1937. In 1946, the Ott Memorial Building and German Methodist Children's Home were purchased by the college to open a school of commerce in Ott Memorial Building The buildings were remodeled at a cost of $25,000. A heating plant was also added to replace the central heating of the central heating unit of Children's Home. The architects for the project were Mellenbrook, Foley, and Scott, and Peter Floreske was the contractor. The hall then contained nine classrooms and laboratories, five offices, and 11,250 square feet of floor space. At that time the Economics Department was expanded into a school of commerce, and four professors occupied Ott Memorial Building. Associate Professor of Economics, Jacob O. Kamm was placed as head of the Commerce Department. When the renovation was completed, the business administration classes were moved out of the basement of Wheeler Hall, for classes to start in September, 1946.
As the business administration and economics departments grew, the college decided to build a new building, the Jacob O. Kamm Hall, completed in 1976. It was built on the site of the old Methodist Children's Home, which was razed to provide space for the new hall. The city of Berea gave B-W permission to leave Ott Hall standing for a temporary period of time. The intention was to remove Ott Hall eventually depending on decisions or other uses for the building. Since Kamm Hall was built, it was only used for storage. The college had the building destroyed over the Thanksgiving Holiday in 1982. The site was transformed into a small flower garden area and a parking lot. A marker was placed on the site of the former buildings indicating that on that historic site, buildings related to the former German Methodist Children's Home, the first Methodist orphanage in the country, once stood. The plaque states, "Historic site of the Methodist Children's Home: 1864 - 1974" and "This plaque serves as a remembrance of the historic German Methodist Orphanage Asylum which stood on this site for more than a century. Established in 1864 the German Methodist Church, the Home provided love, care and shelter to hundreds of orphaned boys and girls. Those who served and were served shall be forever mindful and fondly remember the important mission of the Methodist Children's home".