Christmas Knoll

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Christmas Knoll
Alternative names VFW Building
General information
Architectural style Italianate
Address 422 West Liberty Street
Town or city Wooster, Ohio
Country USA
Completed 1835
Demolished November 1974

Also Known As Building Name

  • Dr. Todd House
  • VFW Building

Comprehensive History

In 1835, John Christmas filed a deed for land west of Wooster, including the area now known as Christmas Run Park. On part of this land (later to be West Liberty Street), Christmas built a two-story brick home with flat roof in the Italianate style. Great care went into its construction, as its cherry wood arches between rooms, beautiful carvings, thick walnut window moldings, and storm shutters lasted the building's entire lifetime. The name "Christmas Knoll" appeared painted on the fan-shaped glass over the front entrance, another feature that lasted long, until it was broken in the 1960s.[1]

Christmas and his family occupied the home for 32 years until he sold the property to George Brumpter in January 1867 (for a mere $250). Brumpter sold the property to Samuel Johnston in 1869 (for $3,800), and in 1876 he sold the house to Dr. Joseph H. Todd and his wife Ophelia. The Todds lived here for 60 years until Dr. Todd died in 1936, having outlived his wife and son. In 1885, Todd decided to add his own mark on the house with an Italianate tower with octagonal dome, four gables, Tuscan ornamentation, and large arched windows. The tower became a retreat for Dr. Todd, a place for him to keep and study his more precious and important relics and ancient Indian specimens.[2]

When Dr. Todd died, his heirs sold the house to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post for $8,500. The VFW owned the property over the next two decades and built a brick addition on the west side of the home to use for parties and meetings. In December 1961, the remaining trustees of the VFW gave Christmas Knoll to the City of Wooster "on the conditions that it be used as an armory, a hospital, a historical society, a museum, a community house, headquarters for the Wooster Boy Scouts, or a YMCA."[3] The structure was closed down in May 1965 due to its derelict condition, and in 1974 the home was demolished.[4]


  • 1835: House built by John Christmas
  • 1867: House sold to George Brumpter
  • 1869: House sold to Samuel Johnston
  • 1876: House sold to Dr. Joseph H. Todd
  • 1936: Todd dies, his heir sell house to VFW
  • 1961: VFW gives property to the City of Wooster
  • 1974: House demolished


  • John Christmas
  • George Brumpter
  • Samuel Johnston
  • Dr. Joseph H. Todd
  • Post No. 1081, Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • City of Wooster

Historical documents

Newspaper articles



Wayne County Recorder Property Transfers


  1. "Beauty Of Its Day Is Sad Sight Now," Daily Record, 28 March 1973, p.33
  2. "Beauty Of Its Day Is Sad Sight Now," Daily Record, 28 March 1973, p.33
  3. "Beauty Of Its Day Is Sad Sight Now," Daily Record, 28 March 1973, p.33
  4. "...And The Walls Came Tumblin' Down," Daily Record, 18 November 1974, p.18