The house known today as Stratton House Inn was constructed originally in the 1890s. The early history of the house is not documented, but it was owned in 1903 by David French.
David French was the father-in-law of Charles Stratton, who was a brother of John Stratton. John Stratton envisioned, designed, and built Stratton Flour Mill, but died of typhoid fever before the mill was completed. When John died, John's brother -- Charles -- and their brother-in-law, Joseph Branson, pushed construction of the mill to completion, and began operating the mill in 1878.
John Stratton had a son, George, who was only two years old when John died. In 1903, George bought Stratton House from the estate of David French -- his Uncle Charles' father-in-law.
George and Melva Stratton had been married 2 May 1900. They started housekeeping in the new home of William and Dorothy Ashton (George's mother), who were called to be Superintendent and Matron at the Olney Friends School (Barnesville, Ohio) from 1895 to 1903. (George's mother had remarried following the death of George's father, John Stratton.) The Ashton home was south of Stratton House Inn -- near the bend in Stratton Lane -- and had a commanding view of Flushing and Stratton Flour Mill.
In 1903, George and Melva Stratton moved into Stratton House (the former French home), with their three children: Arthur, William, and Stanley. In the following years, two additional sons -- Howard and Charles -- would be born in Stratton House.
In 1877/1878, a single track railroad tunnel was constructed under the property on which Stratton House sits. Stratton Flour Mill was built from a layer of stone removed during the construction of that tunnel. Soon after George moved his family into Stratton House, he sold rights for a second tunnel -- a double-track tunnel -- which also was built under the house.
Stratton House was a lively place, with five bright, curious, and energetic boys. It also was the "home office" of George Stratton, who wrote much of his mill correspondence from the current office in the house -- on a once-modern typewriter. It was in this office that George developed his formulation for Stratton's Self-rising Pancake Flour. It was in the kitchen of Stratton House (now the dining room) that the formulation was tested and perfected. And in that same kitchen, the quality of mill flour was continuously tested by its actual use in all kinds of baked goods.
From 1903 to the present day, Stratton House has been owned by three generations of Strattons. George and Melva's second son, William, married and continued to live in the house with his parents. William was George's life-long helper in Stratton Flour Mill, and ran the mill several years following the death of his father.
When William Stratton died in 1989, Stratton House was purchased from the estate by Mary Ellen Wall, a granddaughter of George Stratton. During the intervening years, the house has been remodeled and restored. All work on the house has been done by Lewis Stratton and his capable staff. Lewis Stratton also is a grandson of George Stratton and brother of Mary Ellen. Lewis sells and constructs log homes, and worked on Stratton House over the years as time and schedule permitted.
In cleaning out Stratton House, many artifacts, relics, and documents have been discovered -- and preserved. In the former attic, several trunks were found that were filled with family correspondence -- literally a time capsule of the mundane day-to-day activities and occasional special "events" of family life. Also, current family members have memories of life at and visits back to Stratton House. It is hoped that these memories can be recorded, and selectively mounted on this Web site -- along with appropriate content from those trunks -- in order to provide glimpses into the past of Stratton House -- which, over the years, has seen "a lot of living."
See also: John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry -- And Stratton House Inn