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Thornville needs to think creatively to save the Leatherman property


Thornville is a historic community. It’s character is defined by it’s people, structures and places that make the community unique.

Unfortunately, village council voted Monday night to take a step backward by recommending the demolition of one of the historic buildings in the community. Specifically, Dr. Leatherman’s property which sits next to the village post office.

In the discussions I’ve seen, certain council members and residents seem to want everyone in the community to believe that by taking this action, we are honoring the request of Mrs. Leatherman, who bequeathed her property to the village nearly 40 years ago. Her will does state that the property must be demolished and returned to the estate.

Unfortunately, what no one seems interested in is the opportunity to try and honor the intent of her will, which first and foremost is to use the property for the community. There has been a consistent refusal to think creatively, to get work estimates, conduct studies or explore options to make this happen.

The Leatherman property has so much potential. It’s an amazing house with great layout and woodwork. It’s years away from being a derelict (unless council keeps refusing to make repairs). Mrs. Leatherman bestowed the village with a resource that has the potential to benefit everyone. There are all kinds of uses for the property that would fit the community both economically and socially. It would be a tragedy to let it become yet another vacant lot next to the post office.

For every building we lose, we’ve lost a family that might have decided to make Thornville their home and contributed to the community.

There are always other solutions.
Gavin Andrew Renner

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