Someone took an ax to historic island home

MIDDLE BASS ISLAND, Ohio -- Police on Middle Bass Island want to know who took an ax to one of the island's historic homes.

"Every piece of furniture, every cabinet, every piece of glass had been totally destroyed," said island historian Mike Gora. "Somebody took a lot of time to do it and it took a lot of effort."

The same family who owns the home also owns the islands historic Bretz winery.

"The Bretz Winery was one of the three big wineries on the island," said Gora.

The home has been vacant since 1978. The owner's plan was to keep it intact to preserve its rich history.

"Oh my gosh, they just tore everything up didn't they? It's just awful," said resident Joyce Shramo as she looked at the pictures. "We've been up here since '52 and we used to buy a lot of wine from Jim Bretz."

"If they catch the folks what they ought to do is make them pay for the restoration," said her husband Dan.

That cost could be up to $100,000.

"Some of those things have been there 100, 120 years," said Dan. "How do you replace those kinds of things? Handcrafted, probably handed down for generations and just destroyed on somebody's whim. That is just irrational and sad."

"It makes people think about adding additional security for their own properties," said Gora. "I know a few people have already done that as a result."

There are a lot of tourists on this island, but Gora believes the culprits are from here since he doesn't think it's likely tourists knew the history behind that home or how to find it since it is on a private road.

Police tell us they are currently investigating the case.

Follow WKYC's Wale Aliyu on Twitter: @WaleAliyu


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