Kistler house demolished
January 19, 2023
story and photos
by Graham Kilsby
Part of Lewis County and Hohenwald's history was torn down this past week. It was the home of one of the oldest Swiss families who came to Hohenwald at the end of the last century, and had occupied 17 East 1st Street since around 1910. The house, when built, was moved from its original building place at the top of 1st Street opposite the MLEC offices to where it was now,
But it wasn't just the well known building that was lost, it was all the memories of this old house. With the decisions about Hohenwald, the plans on how the town should look were all decided in this old house, and with the town not really having a City Hall, it became even more so that it became a meeting house where plans for the town were talked about and decided. Even to the old City Hall that still remains at the top of the garden. It saw its way through two World Wars, it lost one of its sons, Robert Kistler, when he was torpedoed on the troopship Dorchester and sunk off the coast of Greenland by a German submarine.
Kenneth Kistler was involved with the school system here in Lewis County and Hohenwald for close to 49 years. The fourth anniversary of his passing is just a few weeks from now.
But in defense to its two new owners, who purchased the large property including the house and the old City Hall, they did all they could do to save the house and restore it. But after months of planning and research it was decided, mainly because of the rot, that it would cost far too much money to restore and a decision was made, which involved the Historical Society, to pull it down and rebuild the house as close to what it looked like throughout the past 100 years.
A sad day for the town, but thanks to the Library, a lot of the original archives and historic facts involving the house are available for research, so the house will be rebuilt as close to what it used to be like thanks to its new owners .