‘Old House Lady’ honored for home preservation work in Centerville area

The Centerville-Washington Foundation will honor Martha Boice at the annual founders event. CONTRIBUTED
The Centerville-Washington Foundation will honor Martha Boice at the annual founders event. CONTRIBUTED



WASHINGTON TWP. – Martha Boice will be honored Thursday by the Centerville-Washington Foundation for her work to preserve historic homes in the area.

Her work will be celebrated at the organization’s annual founders event in a virtual setting.

Boice, who turns 89 on Friday, has been an advocate for historic homes in the Centerville-Washington Twp. area for nearly five decades, said Carol Kennard, chair of the event.

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Boice has “boundless energy,” according to the foundation, and is one of the reasons that Centerville has the largest collection of stone houses in Ohio.

She’s also credited with writing an application that established Montgomery County’s first National Register district in Centerville, according to Kennard.

“Martha is deserving of this recognition because of close to 50 years of advocacy for preserving the history of our community,” Kennard said in an email. “Although she says she would like to slow down, she just keeps adding new projects.”

Boice is affectionately known as “The Old House Lady” not because of her age, Kennard said, but for her dedication to architectural history that started when the Centerville-Washington Twp. area was rapidly developing.

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In 1972, the David Watkins-George Sears House was proposed for demolition, Kennard said.

“She started attending zoning meetings and felt no attention was given to preservation of historic properties during development planning,” Kennard said.

Boice’s “tireless drive and enthusiasm” have been key in the preservation and documentation of historic properties in southwest Ohio, according to the foundation.

The event is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling 937-265-0110, email the foundation or visiting its website at centervillewashingtonfoundation.com.

A private link for the online program will be provided to contributors.

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