It was early 2008 when I first began exploring potential sites to build a senior housing facility in the Batavia area. Now, after nearly four years of planning, construction of Dimmitt Woods Senior Housing has begun.
The official address will be 611 College Drive, which is on the left as you make the turn off of West Main Street onto College Drive. You can spot the location by the rock driveway that has been laid for construction vehicles to enter the site. This will become the main entrance when the project is completed.
Dimmitt Woods will be the seventh senior housing facility built by Clermont Senior Services over the past 15 years. Winter weather will delay construction until early spring, although the contractor hopes to begin clearing brush and undergrowth from the site this winter. Construction will continue through 2012, and Dimmitt Woods will be ready for occupancy in early spring 2013.
Applicants must be at least age 62 and meet the income guidelines of just under $25,000 annually for an individual and just under $30,000 for a couple. We will begin taking applications in late 2012, but you can have your name placed on the interest list by calling Clermont Senior Services at (513) 724-1255. There is no obligation in doing so, and those on the list will receive an application by mail when the formal application process begins. Eligible residents of the Village of Batavia and Batavia Township will be given first priority for residency.
The name Dimmitt Woods was selected to honor Ezekiel Dimmitt, the young man who arrived here in 1797 and became the first settler to build a log home on land that would become part of the Village of Batavia. According to historical records, Dimmitt’s homestead included the land upon which Dimmitt Woods Senior Housing will be located and it’s likely that his cabin sat close by the very spot where this 40 unit facility will be constructed.
“Zeke” Dimmitt’s log home became a welcome resting place for early settlers arriving in Batavia, and he quickly became a prominent leader in the community. Dimmitt’s accomplishments included construction of the first courthouse in Batavia, and in 1817 he recruited several of his fellow Methodists to help construct the first stone meeting house, which served as a house of worship and a community meeting hall for the next 60 years.
Ezekiel Dimmitt died in March 1852 at the age of 82, having enjoyed a good life with his wife Phoebe and their children and grandchildren. Just as their humble cabin was a welcome resting place for weary travelers, Dimmitt Woods Senior Housing will be a welcome resting place for many of the community’s older citizens for years to come. I believe Zeke Dimmitt would be both proud and honored to see his old homestead used for such a noble purpose.
George Brown is the executive director of Clermont Senior Services.