Columbus, Ohio

Many of America's historic homes have thankfully been preserved over the years and are now watched and guarded over so that we will not lose these small pieces of our heritage. These homes have much to offer us about American life in the past, serving as homes to antiques and memories of a bygone era... and sometimes serving as home to the former residents too.

The Kelton House in Columbus is just such a place. This Greek Revival mansion was built in 1852 by Fernando Cortez Kelton and was occupied by his descendants until 1975, when his granddaughter, Grace Bird Kelton, passed away. Grace had been a nationally-known interior decorator and had kept the mansion just as it had been in her grandfather's day. She was careful to preserve everything that she could about the house, always working and worrying to make sure that everything was correct.

Some say that she still does this today... even though she had been dead for nearly twenty-five years.

The staff members at the house claim that Grace sometimes rearranges furniture in the mansion if she does not like the way that things have been moved and even leaves out cleaning supplies for them if things do not meet her standards.

Others have heard footsteps in the attic of the place and one tour guide described an occasion when she noticed a woman wander away from the tour group. She followed the woman into the room that she had entered and found it empty... the woman had vanished. According to Chris Woodyard, the office workers at the house claim that they occasionally find their files to be out of order and that items sometimes disappear, only to turn up again in odd places like inside of a locked cabinet. Overall, though, they feel that the ghost is a friendly one. If it is Grace Kelton, she means no harm and just wants to watch over the place... just as she did for so many years.

The Kelton House is located in Columbus, Ohio and is owned by the local Junior League. It is located at 586 East Town Street and is rented out for parties and receptions. Tours of the house are also available.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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