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Ceely Rose House

Historic Site #32

Located in Malabar Farm State Park, the Ceely Rose House was the setting of a triple murder in 1896. The house was home to the Rose family: David, who operated the mill on the property; his wife Rebecca; their son Walter; and their 23-year-old daughter Ceely. According to contemporary accounts, Ceely was "a degenerate" and did "not appear to know the difference between right and wrong."

In June 1896, Ceely poisoned her family with arsenic over their disapproval of her infatuation with their neighbor, Guy Berry. Her father, David, died within a few days. Walter, her brother, and Rebecca, her mother, were gravely ill but lingered for several days before eventually succumbing to the poison.

Ceely was then arrested, confessed, and tried on three counts of murder. She was ultimately found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to the Toledo Asylum. In 1915, Ceely transferred to the new Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. She died there in 1934, a day after her 61st birthday. She is buried in the hospital graveyard, though many say her spirit haunts her old family home at Malabar Farm State Park.

Details vary significantly from story to story, but the case was made most famous by author Louis Bromfield. In 1939, he purchased the home and surrounding property and wrote of the events in his first book about the farm titled "Pleasant Valley."

While the Ceely Rose House is only open to the public during special events, visitors can view the modest farmhouse's exterior at any time. 


Call: 911

Phone Number

(419) 892-2784



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