This graceful estate, surrounded by a tall stone wall and situated on 3.5 acres in the village of Ottawa Hills, is known as "Hearthstone." Built in 1935, the Georgian-style mansion stands out as one of the most elegant homes in the Toledo area.
Hearthstone was designed by architect Myron Hill and built by The Lathrop Company for lumber heiress Alice Terhune, whose father, Walter E. Terhune, was the owner and officer of Clark and Terhune Lumber Merchants, a successful local lumber company in the 1800s. The home, modeled after the French king's estate at Versailles, features 58 rooms, more than 100 windows, travertine marble floors, and nine fireplaces. According to William Speck's 2003 book, A History in Architecture: 1914 to Century's End, the beautifully designed home was built to last:
"It was built like a bunker of steel and concrete with stone on the exterior. Miss Terhune, who was not often seen by her neighbors, was known as the "cat lady." She owned many cats and was a significant supporter of local animal shelters. Despite the expansive space afforded by Hearthstone, she lived in three second-floor rooms with a longtime female companion and rarely ventured downstairs."
When Alice Terhune died in this home on Thursday, December 10, 1970, the Blade noted her death in a very brief and noticeably ordinary obituary the following Sunday. While Alice led a very private and secluded life at Hearthstone and the news of her passing was carried very quietly, her death launched an enormously important community asset that continues to thrive and support the Toledo community today. In the late 1920s, several local banks worked together to execute the legal work necessary to form a community foundation that would one day steward the charitable wishes of many different citizens and perpetually benefit the Toledo area. Alice's father, Walter Terhune, who passed away in 1928, made provisions for the financing that would allow this organization (which existed only on paper) to become an active, vibrant part of the community. Through a trust created before he died, Mr. Terhune left his lumber fortune to support his daughter during her lifetime. Upon Alice's death, the trust provided that a portion of his estate was to go to the Toledo Community Foundation. In 1973, $145,000 from Alice's trust - created 45 years earlier - established the Walter E. Terhune Fund, the first grant-making endowment of the Toledo Community Foundation. During that first year, $1,425 in grants were made to support local charitable projects. Today, the Greater Toledo Community Foundation has grown to more than 900 funds with a combined market value of approximately $329 million from this initial gift.
What about Hearthstone, Alice Terhune's beautiful, 10,000 square foot estate? As it was readied for sale in 1971, the mansion was the scene of a well-publicized estate auction where so many people showed up to look around, admission had to be charged to thin the crowd. Over the last 50 years, Hearthstone has seen a few owners come and go, but the home, built "like a bunker," stands sturdy and proud. It has been recently renovated to blend its refined 1930s details with 21st-century amenities. The residence now features eight bedrooms and ten baths, tile floors throughout, and a beautiful solarium with original vintage fixtures. The first floor includes a library with custom built-ins, fireplace, art deco light fixtures, cherry hardwood paneling; a breakfast room with a fireplace; and a master suite with a fireplace, workout room, and walk-in shower. The lower level is highlighted by a billiard room, gathering room, fireplace, wine cellar, and a covered patio leading out to a swimming pool and brilliantly landscaped gardens.