Gill House – History

Gill House

342 Harding Way West

Gailon, OH 44833

 

Long before the construction of the Gill House, the Gill family had made Gailon, Ohio their home and even helped mold the town into what it is today. The original Gill family relocated to Gailon occurred around 1818 beginning with David Gill and his brother-in-law, George Wood. George was a carpenter and constructed the very first schoolhouse in the town, allowing David to become the first schoolteacher. Both men played a hand in bringing an economic boom to the area right before the Civil War, convincing the town to bring the railroad through Gailon. In turn, this brought more jobs and more families to settle in the community. The Gill family spread through the town and grew. The Gill House was constructed after David had passed away unfortunately, but that could be part of the other worldly activity which occurs in the mansion. The house David built was actually moved in order for the mansion’s construction. It’s possible that David was unhappy with this decision and is restless in the afterlife. Amidst young deaths, which occurred in the original house and on the property, it’s no wonder that some other spirits are also said to still linger inside the old, dilapidated mansion.

 

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The Past

Construction was completed on the Gill House by 1904, taking two years to build. The family headed by Bloomer and Nellie Gill opted to move the original Gill family home from its’ position and construct their own mansion in that very spot. Bloomer was the grandson of the patriarch of the Gill family in Gailon, David Gill. David raised his family in the original house and Bloomer spent much of his childhood in that home.

Not all memories were fond, however. While living in the original house, two of Gill’s siblings died suddenly in the house. Jay Gill was only 18 months old and died from complications of an unrecorded sickness. James Gill Jr., another of Bloomer’s brothers, was killed at 17 years of age from infections and complications from falling down a flight of steps. Bloomer’s mother never truly got over either of these deaths, and who can blame her? She went into a deep depression and essentially ignored Bloomer and his sister.

 

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To Bloomer, moving the old house and building in its’ place was a way of paying tribute to his grandfather and allowing his own children to enjoy their childhood in the same spot – but with a brand new and larger mansion. Bloomer and Nellie moved their four children into the large mansion based on his wealth produced from Bloomer’s hardware businesses and his investment in local drug stores. With his reputation, Bloomer was invited to hold the office of secretary treasurer in the Howard Motor Car Company, thus allowing him to extend his business ventures into a new and growing field of automobiles.

One long lived family tale is that of Bloomer befriending Henry Ford. Because of his dabbling in the manufacturing and automobile industry, Henry Ford brought the very first car through Gailon to meet with Bloomer. Upon the death of former United States President Warren G. Harding, Henry Ford returned to Gailon en route to the funeral. This time, however, he brought friends who visited the Gill House and Bloomer: Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone.

 

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Bloomer and Nellie lived a long and wholesome life in the Gill House. Bloomer passed away from old age and left Nellie a widow. Their children moved away, mostly out of state, all except for Mary. She moved back home to take care of her mother until she joined Bloomer in the afterlife. Mary, divorced and childless, took sole residence in the Gill House until her own death in 1951 at the age of 63, in the same bedroom her mother passed away in.

Upon Mary’s death, the house sat abandoned. The only residents that occupied the mansion was a small homeless population that vandalized and left the Gill House in ruins. Luckily, the historical heritage group of Preserving Galion History, LLC purchased the property and mansion. The non-profit organization has been slowly restoring the mansion ever since. The historic preservation fund and renovations are still underway today in order to save the long and priceless history of the Gill House.

 

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Paranormal Experiences

There have been numerous reports ever since the new Gill House was constructed over the original house. When they were young, the children of Bloomer and Nellie had claimed to see and hear children running and playing. This was just shrugged off as overactive imaginations, until Nellie too experienced a little boy running on the second floor and giggling as he ran down the hallway. After she explained the image to Bloomer, the description reminded him of stories of his deceased young bother, Jay who had died at only 18 months old.

 

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As the family grew older, these memories faded and didn’t recur often, outside of the random dream one of the children would experience. However, after the house was abandoned and the destitute migrants made their way in, rumors circulated of random lights and voices echoing through the house. This occurred so often that some of the homeless actually left the comfort of the large mansion.

After the historic society purchased the property and began renovating, they too experienced phantom voices and footsteps. The ownership group would get phone calls in the middle of the night form the local police explaining that they had been called to the property to investigate lights turning on and off inside. They were afraid of vandals but there was never anything out of place or forced entry. Locals who pass by the mansion at night have also seen these lights.

 

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Some visitors, either on tours or paranormal investigations, have claimed to see a young girl in a white nightgown. It is unclear who this little girl may be, but rumors claim that some who experience her also hear the name of Mary as if the elderly woman returned to her childhood home in a pure child form.

On the first floor, electronics are reported to malfunction and fail temporarily, only to return to their full power after the guest has gone upstairs or outside. As some believe, this is David or Bloomer protecting their home from intruders, expending all of their energy to let guests know that they are present and still watching over their homes.

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