HOWLAND — Land across from Howland Middle School is being cleared for where the Howland Historical Society plans to move the historic “Yellow House” this summer.
Crews started over the weekend and worked Monday cutting trees — which has to be done by Thursday to follow guidelines for protecting various bat species. Workers with Advanced Tree Service of Girard were at the site on Monday.
Cindee Mines with the Howland Historical Society said work crews were braving the cold temperatures to get trees cut down. The Army Corps of Engineers had informed them the trees needed to be down by the end of March because of bats, she said.
The society is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to get the historic, two-story, 1830s E.N. Brown Mackey House moved. That’s because its current location will be where the diverging diamond highway project at state Routes 46 and 82 will be located.
This historic home has been the focus of much debate over the past year because it stands on property located next to the Route 82 ramp where, in 2023, ODOT plans to expand and redevelop thoroughfares with a new, safer traffic pattern.
The house, if not moved, would have had to be demolished to make room for the project at the busy intersection.
Mines said while the society has until November to get the house moved, plans are being made to get it moved on a Sunday morning this July. She said she and other historical society members have been in contact with Stein House Movers “to make sure we removed everything we needed to have the house put at the location.
“The summer will be the best time to move the house … We can have it there so it can be worked on when the weather is warm,” she said.
The back room and other areas of the house need removed. Mines said they want summer weather while covering those areas.
Historical society members said the home will serve as an educational location showcasing the history of Howland.
The house is expected to be open by April 2023 for visitors to tour again.
ABOUT THOSE BATS
Laurie Brown, wildlife research technician with Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, said wildlife officials urge Ohioans not to cut down trees from April to October when bats begin roosting, breeding and building nests.
She said the trees provide homes for the Indiana bat and other species.
Various endangered species of bats are using trees to nest in the spring and summer months, so cutting trees is detrimental to the already dwindling species that call Ohio home. The tri-colored bat, the little brown bat, the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat are on the state’s endangered list. The northern long-eared also is on the federal endangered list.
Officials said bats tend to look at trees that have loose pieces of bark.
Brown said the bats provide many benefits, including eating mosquitoes.
“The best time to cut down trees is late fall and in the winter,” Brown said, noting the guidelines need to be followed on any state or federal land or property receiving state funds.
Mines said the society got the deed for the relocation site in mid-March with assistance from officials at the Trumbull County Planning Commission. The commission provided information on what needed to be done by the society on the property for preparing for the house to be located there, such as surveying of the land.