Sherman House Museum137 E Main St
Lancaster, OH 43130-3713
A Remarkable Ohio Family
As the birthplace of William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman, the Sherman House Museum celebrates the life and legacy of the famous Civil War General and his remarkable family of prominent Ohioans.
The story of the Sherman House tells a lot about Lancaster. Like Chillicothe and Zanesville, Lancaster was created at the intersection of Zane’s Trace and a tributary of the Ohio River. Connecticut lawyer Charles Robert Sherman arrived in Lancaster in 1810 and quickly established himself in one of the most important legal communities in early US history, the Lancaster legal bar. The oldest part of the Sherman house was built in 1811 with an addition in 1816 to accommodate his increasingly large family. Sherman was appointed a member of the Ohio Supreme Court in the 1820s but died suddenly, leaving his wife Mary an impoverished widow with nine children. William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was raised by one of his father’s close friends and legal colleagues, Thomas Ewing who was a fixture of Republican national politics. Ewing secured “Cump” a place at the United States Military Academy at West Point, which was the beginning of Sherman’s brilliant military career. General Sherman played a decisive role in the Civil War and afterwards was appointed Commanding General of the US Army.
Also born in the house was US Senator John Sherman, who, after an impressive career as a legislator, was appointed Treasury Secretary in the Hayes administration. The important anti-monopoly legislation, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, (1890) bears his name.
Notes for Travelers
The Sherman House is both a house museum and a commemorative site with lots to reward the general interest traveler as well as the Civil War buff. Guides share the story of the house, the Sherman family, and General Sherman’s important and controversial contributions to the Civil War. The front parlor exhibits furniture and artifacts once owned by General Sherman and his wife Ellen, as well as a well-stocked gift shop. Be sure to visit upstairs where a recreation of General Sherman’s Civil War field tent is installed. Also notable are the gardens around the house, especially the Kitchen Garden and Medicinal Garden, which date to the early history of the house and are documented as historically accurate.
Note: Only the first floor is handicap accessible.
The Sherman House is part of Square 13, a landmark preservation district that is a veritable textbook of 19th century American architecture. In addition to canal-era prosperity, Lancaster was a boomtown after natural gas was discovered in the 1880s, resulting in new industries and a building spree of fine Victorian homes. To experience Square 13, upon leaving the Sherman House Museum, turn left and continue walking up East Main Street, taking a left on North High Street. Be sure to note the Ewing House on this corner, where “Cump” Sherman was raised, still a private residence to this day. At the next intersection on North High Street, take a left on East Wheeling Street. For more of Lancaster’s distinctive architectural heritage, visit the elegant Georgian Museum on the corner of East Wheeling and North Broad Street.