Unlocking the History of Amelia

On the outskirts of Amelia sits a picturesque Victorian house complete with a turret and French doors. Walking in, you will be immediately struck by the house’s richness of character. Voluminous fireplaces accentuate a labyrinth of rooms all centered on the winding staircase in the core of the house. Eccentric embroidered chairs and elegant chandeliers foster a strong personality. If you journey up to the third floor, you will discover an eerie and narrow hallway with just two rooms. One is the turret—a delightful circular room filled with windows. The other is a child’s bedroom, filled with peculiar dolls and other trinkets. The little room has two glass-handled doors leading into an attic, and a bathroom with a stooped ceiling. Supposedly, the house is haunted, and that room is particularly hair-raising. All the way down, the stone basement features a collection of dark rooms framed by empty shelves and shadow-filled halls. One room is shielded by a seemingly-ancient plank door, a strangely unnerving sight amongst more modern elements.

The old house is also incredibly rich in history. It was originally built in 1898 by the owner of a postcard printing company then transferred to a mill owner who completed various renovations in the early twentieth century. Christened “Mid-Maples,” it played the role of a speakeasy during Prohibition. Fairly isolated and with a hidden room accessible from a sliding bookcase, it was an optimal hideout for alcohol. At every turn, you will find yet another cabinet or nook. In addition, the house originally had twenty-seven acres of land, boasting coal yards, tennis courts, stables, and even a stone outhouse which has fallen into disrepair. Rented out to architects and artists over the years, the house was added onto in the ’70s and updated. After sitting vacant in more recent years, the house became the home of the Amelia Village government which has worked to preserve the house, displaying some of Amelia’s earliest artifacts in a small museum. If you ever have the opportunity, this flavorful bit of history is definitely worth your time to explore.

 

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