The Victorian Italiante-style home was built by the C.C. Thompson family.
EAST LIVERPOOL — Back when East Liverpool was known as “America’s Crockery City,” many local families earned big bucks in the pottery business.
One of these was the C. C. Thompson family, owners of C. C. Thompson Pottery, which was in operation from about 1868 until 1938.
Although both the company and the original family are long gone, the lavish mansion they lived in remains and provides modern folks with a glimpse into wealthy living 1800s-style.
“The home was built in 1876 with a spacious porch so the family could sit outside and watch The Delta Queen paddleboat when it moved along the Ohio River,” said Joan Witt, vice president of the East Liverpool Historical Society.
Although the Ohio River can no longer be seen from the mansion’s front porch — a highway now blocks the view — the views inside the mansion are quite spectacular.
This Victorian Italiante-style home features 15-foot ceilings, pocket doors, seven fireplaces and a continuous spiral staircase that climbs up a dizzying three floors before ending at a lookout tower.
“The tower really didn’t have a purpose,” Witt said with a smile. “It was more of a status symbol, a way to say ‘My house is taller than your house.’”
Perhaps the C. C. Thompson family was also proud that their home was the first in East Liverpool to have indoor plumbing.
“The bathroom seems modest by today’s standards, but it was state-of-the-art back then,” Witt said.
C. C. Thompson and his wife had five children, two of whom died young.
Many of the furnishings and curiosities seen inside the home today once belonged to the Thompson family.
“Thompson descendants lived in this house until 1978, so we have many original pieces that belonged to the family,” Witt said, pointing to an antique photograph of one of the Thompson boys who grew up in the house.
Whether decorated with original pieces or not, each room in the mansion is a breathtaking delight.
Crystal chandeliers sparkle and stained glass windows cast sunny rainbow patterns across oriental carpets.
A Victorian kitchen features an icebox, a monstrous old stove, a pie safe and numerous curiosities used to cook before the advent of electric mixers or microwaves.
The C. C. Thompson Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in downtown East Liverpool at 305 Walnut St., just a few blocks from the Museum of Ceramics.
The mansion is open by appointment only.
For a tour call (330) 386-5964.
Witt said the mansion will be decorated for the Christmas season.