Henry Long came by covered wagon to Van Buren Township (now parts of Dayton, Kettering, and Oakwood) in 1828. He married Harriet Shroyer in 1843. In 1856, Long purchased 160 acres for $280. The land extended from Lebanon Pike (today Far Hills Avenue) west to Ridgeway Road and from Peach Orchard Road north to Ashridge Road. Henry Long farmed part of the land and ran a quarry and sand pit on another part of the property (today near Coolidge Dr.). Long supplied the gravel from his quarry to pave Lebanon Pike, and in 1875 he constructed a toll gate at the edge of his property charging people to use the common route.
In 1863, Long started work on the original part of the Homestead. He used brick made from a kiln located on Peach Orchard Avenue and timber from the local area. He added a summer kitchen behind the house. Today, the summer kitchen has an operational original water pump and open-hearth fireplace.
Henry and Harriet Long had five children. They both died in 1896, and the farm was divided among the children. The children got married and had families of their own. Laura Romspert stayed on the Homestead, and a second home at 1945 Far Hills Avenue was added in 1902 for the growing family. Then in the 1920s, the family added an addition to the north side of the original home. Because the building contractor could not match the original red brick, the whole home was covered in stucco. The front porch, running water, and electricity were added to the home at this time.
The family purchased and sold parcels of land around Oakwood including parts of their own homestead along Ridgeway Road. The quarry continued to supply the sand and gravel for many of the Oakwood roads and homes. The quarry closed in the 1940s. That land was sold off, and builders constructed homes along Coolidge Dr. in the late 1940s through the 1950s.
The Homestead Today
Ethel Romspert, granddaughter-in-law of Henry and Harriet Long, left the Long Romspert property to the Oakwood Historical Society in 1985. The 17-room home is unique because it maintains its architecture in the original half of the home (mid-19th-century Victorian Italianate farmhouse) and represents early 20th century suburban Arts & Crafts architecture on the north side addition. Furnishings in the Homestead have been donated by Oakwood citizens or loaned from the Montgomery County Historical Society (now Dayton History).