Historical marker standing at the corner of West High and North Scioto Street not only honors the first home of the Pickaway County Common Pleas Court but also one of Circleville’s founding fathers.
Jacob Zieger built the original house on the property in 1810. It was one of the earliest residences constructed in the city after Pickaway County was commissioned by the state legislature earlier in that year.
The structure was a log cabin home and it remained in that style for nearly 100 years. A remodel in the mid-1800s moved the front entrance off the street and to the south instead of the front door facing Scioto Street to the east.
The first session of court in Pickaway County was held at Ziegler House on April 26, 1811, since at that time there was no courthouse in Pickaway County.
The property, which had one large, long room on the second floor, was spacious enough to hold the required members to conduct Common Pleas Court. Those meetings were held there for three years until April of 1814.
Many early officials of the county were members of the Mason Fraternity and their meetings were held on same property from April 1813 until 1825. The Masons eventually organized the dedication of the historical site in 1978.
During the 1840s, the property was sold by the Ziegler family.
The original house was demolished in 1904, partly because the construction of the property next door made the present-day entrance inconvenient. The new house currently stands on the corner of High and Scioto Streets.
Circleville resident and Roundtown Conservancy member W. W. Higgins said the property was rotated so it could be sold.
“Sometime in the 1940s, the southern part of the house was turned 90 degrees,” Higgins said. “It wasn’t a great idea at the time, but I could see the reasons why they did it.”
The Zieger House marker was the first dedicated in Pickaway County, on April 26, 1978. The dedication was 67 years to the day after the first session of court. The original marker, which contained spelling errors, was eventually replaced with a corrected version in 2006.
“The historical society used material from a document from Lancaster, which was the county seat before Pickaway was a county,” Higgins said. “They spelled it ‘Ziegler’; however, that was incorrect. A group of us got together, mostly the Roundtown Conservancy, and got the correct spelling put in place.”
The sign provides the following information on both sides:
“On this site stood the Zieger House, in which the first session of court in Circleville was held on April 26, 1811, the sessions continuing until April, 1814. The first meetings of Pickaway Lodge No. 23 Free and Accepted Masons were held here, beginning April 26, 1813, and continuing until 1825.”