A gorgeous Italianate home perched atop a Marietta, Ohio hillside has long captured my imagination. You can catch glimpses of the roofline from a road above and peeks here and there of this stately home as you move around the city.
In recent years, it has been open for events, paranormal investigations, and tours as the Washington County Historical Society has labored on restoration.
This 1859 era house has been home to many families across the decades and regrettably served as a nursing home for about twenty years beginning in the sixties.
Douglas Putnam, one of Marietta’s wealthiest men, had the home built for his wife. Her name was Eliza Putnam and she had fallen in love with the beautiful homes she saw while on a trip through New England. She was especially charmed by the Italianate home of friends she had stayed with during that trip.
The project architect designed other famous homes in the area including The Castle which is also open to visitors. However, Eliza personalized it to suit her tastes, carefully choosing the colors, woodwork and other details to make the house their home.
It took ten years and $60,000 to complete. It’s said that Eliza died of heart disease within three years of living there and that Douglas regretted building the home.
By the way, the cost of this home would be $1.7 million in today’s money.
It has been called many names over the years. The Putnams called it Elmwood while many people in town called it Putnam’s Folly. It eventually was owned by a family who had a boat building company. They christened the home The Anchorage.
A self guided tour gives you access to the house and property. The ground floor of the house has been beautifully restored but the second floor, attic and tower remain untouched.
Every owner left a mark, changing it to suit their needs and tastes. Luckily, there are many original elements that weren’t lost to time and trends.
I was drawn to these doors.
This room appears to be a perfect place for a seance.
As much as I liked the remodeled parts of the house, I also appreciated the untouched places, those that are deteriorated and that give a sense of how far they have come.
And then there’s the tower, which offers 360 degrees of windows, with a fabulous view of the city.
They seem to promote this home mostly for the reported paranormal activity. I actually went to see the cool old house without expectation of experiencing anything out of the ordinary. But I have to admit that this empath experienced an emotional roller coaster starting with the moment I drove up until I headed back down the hill.
I never felt fearful but I did feel emotions ranging from discomfort to anxiety to grief and loneliness. At times I felt oddly trapped. I had looked forward to seeing the tower but felt so forlorn by the time I was there it was hard to enjoy the experience.
But, I suppose that itself was part of my experience.
There were specific spaces that bothered me more but I was mindful to not be influenced by the power of suggestion. After all, it’s a creepy old house with shadowy corners where paranormal investigators flock for overnight probes to interact with the Putnams, servants and nursing home patients. One of those nursing home patients reported frequent encounters with a child spirit while she was a resident there.
I also purposely didn’t read these details on the flyer they provided because I didn’t want to know until after I left.
It was an interesting experience. I would go back and actually look forward to returning when their work is done. I would also be interested in one of those paranormal events, mainly because I’ve never done anything like that and I’m curious.
The Finns who have the Anchorage offer other tours in the area. Click here to learn more! If you’re on Facebook, check out Make the Journey Fun. I’ll post some more pictures there this week.