Business of the Month » September 2019
The Piatt family has invited travelers into their homes (the Piatt Castles) for 117 years by offering facilitated self-guided tours to tell a story of life in Logan County.
“We focus our presentation at Mac-A-Cheek on the universal topic of family history so all visitors can find relevance to our story, while Mac-O-Chee focuses on the theme of inspiration,” said Margaret Piatt, owner of the Piatt Castles. “Through our association with the Mac-A-Cheek Foundation for the Humanities, we have been able to expand these themes into interpretive programs and events that are not only about history, but also art, architecture, literature, science and nature.”
Seven generations of the Piatt family have lived on the land in the Mac-A-Cheek valley near West Liberty. The first generation established a large, diversified farm with a gristmill and sawmill. Two members of the second generation built homes names Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee using limestone from their own quarry. Mac-A-Cheek was the center of Abram Piatt’s progressive farm while Mac-O-Chee provided a setting for Donn Piatt to continue a career in journalism and literature. Members of the five generations who followed have featured first Mac-A-Cheek and then also Mac-O-Chee as historic house museums.
“The beautiful rural landscape of southern Logan County add enchantment to the setting of Piatt Castles,” said Mrs. Piatt. “The prominence and excellence of other nearby attractions and the charm and services in area communities enchase our offerings.”
Margaret is the sixth generation to maintain the homes and it took years for her and her Husband, Jim White, to decide to put Mac-O-Chee up for auction.
“The ideal buyer for Mac-O-Chee is the person or persons who can afford to repair and restore the building,” said Mrs. Piatt. “My unrealized vision was for it to become a center for preservation arts including using it as a field study project for students in restoration arts. I have loved using it as a place for people to discover integrated arts and sciences. Mac-O-Chee has had other functions over time including its original purpose as a home. I can’t say what it should be in the future; I only hope it can continue to inspire others.”
The investment earned from the sale of Mac-O-Chee will be funneled into maintaining and renovating Mac-A-Cheek. The auction will take place on Oct. 19.
Throughout the years, the Chamber has provided the Piatt Castles with training in social media, organized group tours, and has included the castles in the production of videos and a virtual tour. The Piatt Castles have been Chamber members since the 1960s.
Anyone interested in following the Piatt Castles and their journey, visit their Facebook page and website at piattcastles.org.