We lived in this house 1994-2002, the longest I’ve consecutively lived in one place. The house was built in 1820 by J.C. Hayes, a veteran of the War of 1812. War veterans were given land in that part of Ohio as a reward for their service–many of them became farmers and this house is still surrounded by 3000+ acres of farmland, all owned by one man.
There was originally a red wooden barn behind the summer kitchen that among other things, held a tunnel that had been filled in. There was talk that this house might have been a stop on the underground railroad, though I don’t know that my parents ever looked into it. Unfortunately the current owners demolished the barn, so I don’t know if any evidence is left of that. In the 1970s, the band McGuffey Lane used it as a practice space, I’m told. Our next door neighbor and dear friend, a construction contractor, had owned this house for years, and at that point was in quite bad repair, to the point of deer living inside. He put a lot of work into that house, and is responsible for much of the electrical work and plumbing.
There was a lot of work still left to do, but my parents saw the potential in the house. When our friend died in the early ’90s, we bought the house from his parents, and continued the renovation, and opened a bed & breakfast. I have a lot of hard memories growing up, but the house itself was home, a sanctuary away from the madness of life. My grandpa died in that house. My brother and mother insist that it’s haunted–I’m not quite as spiritually aware as they are, and the house never bothered me. My mom had a premonition (if you want to call it that), and wanted to sell the business in 2000, but my dad refused; revenue had been steadily climbing since they opened. Unfortunately after Sept 11 happened, a lot of people stopped traveling and pretty much anything connected to travel and tourism took a big hit, including us. We sold the house and the business less than a year later.
The people who bought the bed & breakfast after us didn’t do too well and went under. They owed us quite a lot of money but escaped that by declaring bankruptcy, as well as making off with several articles of antique furniture, etc before they moved down South. I also think they took an industrial waffle iron that I was quite fond of, and would have loved to have owned. Oh well, life goes on. My dad knows more about the current owners and I didn’t ask him too many questions, though apparently the house is still operated as a bed & breakfast. If I ever become filthy rich, I will definitely own that house again.
The scans were a bit on the green side for some reason, and I had to do a little correction in Photoshop. Strangely, it didn’t affect the rest of the roll. The artifacts on the left side of the second picture are tears, I believe: it was the last shot on the roll, and the Weathermatic would be damned if it didn’t give me one last exposure. God bless it…