09/08/11 Earlier this summer the WTCA â€śWhatâ€™s Your Opinion Showâ€ť had the opportunity to interview Andrew Sporner who purchased the Hoham mansion on State Road 17 at the curve.Â The house has been rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad for many years.Â
Sporner was born and grew up in Plymouth, then moved with his family to Walkerton.Â He currently lives in Germany and runs his own software consulting business.
Three years ago Andrew embarked on a quest to purchase the historic home. Â He said, â€śI had my eyes on the Hoham mansion since I was about 5 years old.â€ťÂ It took a year of negotiating, but finally became a reality on April 15th 2010.Â
Many folks have shown interest in the property including the Wythougan Valley Preservation Council.Â Weâ€™ve all heard the stories and drive by and see the home hidden in the trees next to the hospital.Â
Sporner has created a website that gives lots of details of the home including background on the brewery and the Hoham and Klinghammer families, background about the connection the brewery has with the Underground Railroad and the origin of the house.Â Visitors to the website can also learn when the brewery burned, the big raid of “The Pines Roadhouse” during Prohibition times and when the proprietors of “The Pines Roadhouse” were sentenced.
Sporner has been investing in the property and in 2009 completed part 1 of the roof project. The rusted through valleys of the roof were replaced with copper ones. This year the front porch was restored and blended to the house architecture.Â
Kurt Garner a local architect and historian has been working to get the home on the National Historic Register and done drawings for Andrew. Â Â Contractor Al Eisenhour has been doing the construction on the home.Â Sporner said, â€śIt is my belief to use locals whenever possible.â€ť
Those interested in learning more about the Hoham Mansion should check out the website: http://houseweb.sporner.com/index.html
Photos provided by Andrew Sporner