While driving through downtown Centerville, you may have noticed a little sign on the side of the road denoting the Asahel Wright Museum.
Asahel Wright was born in 1786 in New Hampshire and moved to Centerville with his parents in 1814. In November of 1814, Asahel leased a farm of seven acres of land from Aaron Nutt, located near the southeast corner of Far Hills and Alex-Bell Road. Later, in August of 1816, he then purchased a portion of Lot # 3 of the Nutt Platt for $150, making the first recorded purchase of the property.
While living in the house on his seven acres, Asahel distilled liquor and manufactured peppermint oil and sold them in a store, possibly located at the southwest corner of Main Street and Franklin Street. In 1820, Asahel married Martha Sweeney and had seven children together before moving to Miami County. During his life, Asahel was a farmer, storekeeper, taven keeper, and Post Master.
Asahel died on October 23, 1842 and is buried in the Bethel Church Cemetery in Huber Heights. Interestingly, Asahel’s younger brother Daniel Wright Jr. was the grandfather of Orville and Wilbur Wright.
On this date (September 18th) in 1892, Orville and Wilbur rode their bicycles through Centerville on their way to Miamisburg, and Wilbur Wright wrote about the trip in a letter to his sister Katharine.
In 1978, after the house was renovated, the International Women’s Air and Space Museum rented the space for $1 a year, until the museum moved to the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland in 1998. Today, the two-story stone Asahel Wright House is a one-room schoolhouse museum.
26 North Main Street
Centerville, OH 45459