Paul McKibben reports:
For the second time in two years, Deerfield Township’s historic Twenty Mile House faces the wrecking ball.
Peabody Development in Lebanon plans to build a Big Mike’s Gas N Go with 12 pumps, a 3,437-square-foot convenience store and another 1,200-square-foot structure for undetermined use.
Peabody has obtained a zoning certificate from the township. The property is already zoned for the gas station use. A demolition permit has been on file with Warren County since November 2011.
Deerfield Township Administrator Bill Becker said he doesn’t know when construction will start.
The nearly 200-year-old former stagecoach stop and restaurant at the corner of Columbia Road and Ohio 3/U.S. 22 has been vacant for more than two years. It last occupant was the Red Rock Tavern.
The original structure was built in 1822 in the crossroads hamlet of Twenty Mile Stand. The community goes back to 1798, when settler Benjamin Morris was the first person to get a deed for property in the area.
The state of Ohio in 1804 constructed a turnpike connecting Cincinnati to Chillicothe, the state capital from 1803 to 1810. The Twenty Mile Stand community developed around the building, which was also a post office. It received the name “Twenty Mile Stand” because it is about 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
Owner Jeff Black has said he’s losing money on the property. His company, CJMKC Realty Co. LLC, purchased the property in 2004 for $1 million. Black could not be reached for comment Thursday.
In 2011, Speedway LLC had agreed to buy the property from Black for $800,000, pending the company receiving governmental approval for its gas station and convenience store. But the company never received that approval and the deal fell through.
At the time, residents collected petitions in an attempt to save the building.
Steve Link, president of the Friends of Twenty Mile House, has said if the price was reasonable his group could raise up to $300,000 for the building. He said without control of the property, no one is interested in contributing to his organization’s cause. He said the group wants to turn the Twenty Mile House into a cultural center.
Black hired Fast Track Auctions Sales in Clermont County to sell the building’s contents, including disco balls, bathroom fixtures and a wooden stage. The online sale ends Monday.
Reporter Rachel Richardson contributed.