77 Jefferson Avenue | The Thurber House

The most well-known house on Jefferson Avenue is No. 77, home of James Thurber’s family from 1913-1915, and setting for the story “The Night the Ghost Got In.” Once vacant and deteriorated, it has been restored and now houses a museum, a writer-in-residence program, and Thurber Country, a bookstore featuring works by Midwestern authors.


Architecturally, the Thurber House is an example of the Queen Anne style of the 1880s and 1890s. Characteristic features include the steep-pitched roof and irregular roofline, asymmetrical massing, imbricated shingles and other millwork in the attic gables, beveled glass, and variety of materials and textures, such as the rock-faced bricks that flank the large elliptical-arched window.


First surveyed as a portion of Montgomery Township as designated on the first survey of Congress Lands made in May 1799 by John Mathews and Ebenezer Buckingham, United States Surveyors.


Sold by the United States authorized by Thomas Jefferson, President, to Seth Harding of New London, Conn. Feb. 20, 1802 in accordance with a Feb. 18, 1801 act of Congress offering grants of land to "refugees from the British Provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia", attested by James Madison, Secretary of State.


A complete list of transfers is available; highlights include:


Sold by Seth Harding to Bela Badger of Bucks County, Penn. Feb. 16, 1803


Sold by Alfred Kelly and Mary S. Kelly to The State of Ohio for use as the grounds of Ohio's Lunatic Asylum March 26, 1839


Sold by the State of Ohio authorized by Rutherford B. Hayes, Governor, to William Sullivant May 2, 1870


Seized by Ralph J. Paul, Sheriff of Franklin County and sold to Marie H. Sheppard Sewell July 3, 1947


Received of Arthur I. Vorys on Aug. 12, 1974

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