Clouser Cottage

219 W. Church Ave.

Josiah Benjamin Clouser lived in Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. When his wife’s health began to fail, doctors recommended that she move to a warmer-weather state to recuperate (a standard medical suggestion at the time). Being a carpenter by trade and seeing an advertisement by Longwood founder Edward Henck that they needed a master builder, he answered the call.

In 1880, the family relocated to Longwood. Upon arriving, Clouser found the house provided to him was infested with fleas. He was disgusted and refused to stay in it after the first night. Hastily, Clouser built this temporary home for his family on Church Street, using any spare lumber he could salvage. The family lived in it for three years until he could construct their more permanent home, the Clouser House, just behind this one on Warren Avenue.

Josiah Clouser became a prominent citizen and well-known builder throughout the area. He contributed to the construction and handiwork of many of the homes in Longwood and surrounding towns.

After the family moved into their new house on Warren Avenue, their former home became Longwood’s first schoolhouse. Later, they used the cottage as an animal shed, storage space, and for rental income. It is a simple vertical wood paneling construction, typical of the style for basic pioneer homes from the era.

Elena Amelia and Garland Henry Shaw lived in the home from the 1940s through the 1970s. The high school sweethearts (Lyman) raised their family there and, in later years, operated a gift shop there. Garland died in 1972, but Elena lived until she was 103, passing in 2019. For years, it became known as the Shaw Cottage.

By the 1980s, this home had fallen into terrible shape. Longwood Historical Society members John and Fred Bistline, Josiah Clouser’s great-grandchildren, purchased it and fixed it back up in the 1990s to save it from demotion. It was opened as a gift and country furnishings shop, the Apple Basket. The building was shifted slightly to the west of its original spot to make room for parking spaces to its left.

Today, it hosts a small retail business called Ruby Sun Gifts, previously called Craft Shack. Debbie Helton operates the cute little shop. The building is still owned by the descendants of the Clouser/Bistline family.

Outside Photos

Inside Photos