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Self-Guided Tour

Ghosts, spirits, haunted houses--all have their believers and their skeptics.  No matter which you are, those things that "go bump in the night" cannot always be explained.  Ghosts make themselves known in various ways.  Sometimes the presence is felt, though there is nothing to see.  Some move things or make noises such as knocking, scraping, footsteps, or voices.  There are those who have been seen as orbs, filmy mists, or sometimes in whole form.  They don't need to be scary; sometimes their presence is comforting, amusing or occasionally terrifying.  The hauntings that we will be talking about on this virtual tour will encompass all of these things.  We try to join historical facts with both rumors and eye witness accounts to tell the story of Elmore's spirits--both past and present.  After reading these tales of Haunted Elmore, YOU will be the judge of what is to be believed and what is not.  

 

Click the NUMBER below to learn more about the hauntings at that location.

1

Harris-Elmore Public Library

328 Toledo St.

11

344 E. 4th St.

2

Elmore Community Center

410 Clinton St.

3

317 Toledo St.

12

347 E. 4th St.

12

449 Toledo St.

4

336 Augusta St.

13

Commodore Perry Credit Union

365 Rice St.

19

Destazio's Bistro

332 Rice St.

20

231 Maple St.

21

22

Elmore Train Depot

Ory Park

318 Rice St.

5

344 Lincoln St.

6

360 Huron St.

7

621 Rice St.

8

Harrington Cemetery

Rice St.

9

St. John's United Church of Christ

448 Rice St.

10

420 Ames St.

14

15

Christy's Corner Cafe

368 Rice St.

Woodmore School Admin. Offices

349 Rice St.

24

23

310 Rice St.

243 Rice St.

16

17

Destazio's Pizza

351 Rice St.

25

244 Rice St.

Elmore Town Hall & Downtown 

344 Rice St.

26

Schedel Arboretum & Gardens

19255 W. Portage River South

18

Elmore General Store

346 Rice St.

27

Hanneman Farm

Schultz-Portage Rd. (across from the Harris-Elmore Union Cemetery)

28

Aldrich Pond

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Harris-Elmore Public Library
328 Toledo St.

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This location was the home of Cora Coe Dixey from her birth in 1860. When she was 14, she eloped with a married man, Thomas Dixey. He was the Marshall of Elmore and had left his wife and children in the hotel in which they were boarding. Cora moved back in with her mother a few years later after Dixey died. Cora was in and out of the Toledo State Hospital for the Insane from 1908-1930 as a result of schizophrenia, depression, and violent outbursts. It was rumored that she would beat her mother, locking her up in the house, and then shut herself away for weeks.  After Cora’s death in 1932, firemen burned down the home as it was falling into disrepair.  Many onlookers as well as firemen could see a woman pacing in front of the upstairs window as the house was burning. 

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M.J. Coe (left) with her daughter Cora Coe (right) in 1869.

Before the 2001 library remodel, various staff members would report hearing sounds of books being shelved or sometimes books suddenly flying off of the shelves. When staff went to investigate these sounds, they would find no one there.  Sometimes they would find a few shocked patrons who had witnessed the ordeal themselves.  There have also been sounds of a baby wailing or children laughing when no one was in the library except for staff members.   

Below is a video explaining the paranormal staff experiences since the 2019 renovation and also four additional videos explaining the findings from the paranormal investigator group "Brave Ohio Spook Seekers" in September 2020:

Elmore Community Center
410 Clinton St.

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The former United Brethren Church building was built in 1895.  The church discontinued its services around 1921.  In 1923, the building was purchased by the Elmore Free & Accepted Masons for their Temple.  The Masons of Portage Lodge #351 moved into the site in 1925 and began plans for renovations.  For privacy purposes, lodge rooms were typically located on the upper floors.  The Masons decided to raise the roof of the former one story church and covered up the brick with stucco--placing a number of Free Mason symbols throughout. 

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Portage Lodge #351 c. 1930s

The United Brethren Church in Elmore c.1900

Meetings of the Masons and their sister organization, the Order of the Eastern stars met in the building immediately after renovations finished.  Both organizations stopped meeting in the building in 1996, but it doesn't seem that everyone has left.  Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of long dead members enjoying a cigar in the great room or shooting disapproving looks for interfering in their boys club activities--especially if the onlooker is a woman. 

 

The building was taken over by the village of Elmore and currently houses the Elmore Community Center and is used as a party rental facility.  Woodmore Boy Scout Troop #314 also holds their meetings there.

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Photos of the interior of the Portage Lodge during the 1920s-1930s.  The Card Room, Club Room, and Masonic Lodge Room are depicted.  Photos taken by O.B. Durfee (Elmore, OH)

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John Kirk Luckey was installed as a member of the Masons Portage Lodge #351 in 1921 when their headquarters were still in the Elmore Opera House on Rice St.  He is one of the Masonic members who's description fits some sightings of spirit activity in the building.

317 Toledo St.

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The home of the late Elmore Mayor, Lowell Krumnow (mayor from 1992-2013) was built in 1875.  When he bought the home in 1982, he had heard rumors of the house being haunted--but everyone was hesitant to speak about it to him.  However, he would soon find out the truth for himself...

He was kneeling in front of the living room fireplace one afternoon when all of a sudden he felt a sharp kick in his rear.  He wheeled about to confront the culprit, only to discover that he was alone in the room.  Other odd things started happening quickly after.  The lights would flicker, radios would go on and off, the waterbed would start shaking, and shadows would appear on the wall with no objects associated with them.  One time the blinds shot up in the living room when he was alone with a woman and he joked that his ghost must've been jealous. 

 

Another time, he was leaving the house with a friend and he happened to glance at the upstairs octagon window.  There was an old woman standing there looking at them.  There have been many sightings of this old woman in the window from other Elmore residents. 

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The old woman is suspected to be Jane Harmon, a 79 year old widow that was a respected pioneer in the county.  She was born in 1840 and she bought the house in 1903.  She died from a paralytic stroke in 1919.

The photograph to the left is Jane Harmon in the 1880s.

Lowell's daughter has also experienced the cries of a young woman giving birth.  STORY

A psychic named Elizabeth Wharrey visited Elmore on Lowell's request and found....

336 Augusta St.

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This house was built in 1861 by A.W. Luckey and later belonged to Civil War veteran Henry William Bothe in the 1880s.  Bothe was a German immigrant and fought in the 37th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He was a prisoner in Andersonville for a portion of the Civil War.  His family also lived in this home for over 100 years.

Murlyn Schneider (Henry's great granddaughter), grew up in the house and would often hear strange noises or would notice items frequently being moved from their original places. After her father, Henry James Bothe passed away in the 1960s, his "Old Spice" aftershave would linger in rooms, dissipate, and reappear hours later. After her husband Charles Schneider passed away, she and her daughter Jane would that the house would be locked up after they had previously left it unlocked.  They would have to break the locks to get inside, only to find that the locks were mysteriously repaired hours later.  They would also hear the back door opening and closing often when no one was in the backyard.

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Charles Schneider c.1942 as a Naval Ensign in WWII.

Henry William Bothe in Masonic installation photograph in 1876.

344 Lincoln St.

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Grant Cummings reported a sighting from his former residence on Lincoln St. that gave him the chills.  He was coming back from the front room and walking toward the bathroom in the back.  When he got to the staircase, something caught his eye.  He turned around to look and saw a woman dressed in white.  He couldn't make out anything concrete about her apparel, only that it was a long white dress with white veils.  She just floated up the steps quickly and disappeared.  That was his only encounter with her

They had moved into the house in 1997 and heard some strange noises around the house once in awhile, but had never seen anything until then.

At the time, his three year old daughter also claims to have seen the woman in white.  She says that a lady comes into her bedroom at night and tells her that everything will be alright and to not be afraid.

Historical records show that the house was built in 1877 by John Weis and his wife Mary (Urech) Weis.  They owned a harness shop across the street from their home.  In researching the people that have lived inthat house, only Mary had died there.  She was only 42 years old when she died in 1886.  Could she be the woman in white?

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The Weis Family in front of their Lincoln St. home in the 1880s.

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John Weis and his son in front of their harness shop.

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John & Mary Weis' tombstone located in the Harris-Elmore Union Cemetery.

360 Huron St.

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Sierra Ream was sitting alone in the kitchen of her former Huron St. home when she happened to glance at the doorframe.  She saw a man that looked much like a butcher in his white apron spattered with blood stains.  She didn't process the sight right away because when she looked up again, the man had disappeared.  When she told her mother about it later that night, she was surprised because a butcher had once lived in the house years ago.

The mysterious butcher is quite possibly Otto Tank, who lived in the house between 1933-1939.  His family was the owner of Tanks Meats, the local butcher shop. He died in his Fremont St. home in 1962, but his spirit may remain on Huron St.

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Employees of Tanks Meats in 1907 (left) and also c. 1950s-1960s (right).

621 Rice St.

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This house was built in 1861 and had many inhabitants before Mike & Maria Giles arrived.  When they moved in, they decided to do a complete remodel.  Upon redecorating rooms in the house, they painted walls one color and would return hours later to find it painted in a completely different color.  This happened in several rooms. They chalked it up to their ghost "Margaret" not liking the way that it looked.  

 

A girlfriend of one of the Giles' nephews came to visit and saw "Margaret" wandering the halls with her head covered in a veil.  The apprition informed her that they needed to stop calling her Margaret, as her name was Marjorie.  Marjorie said that the neighbor fellow disliked her and called her Margaret to make her angry.  It was this neighbor that had told the Giles of the ghost in the first place..  The neighbor did confirm that he teasingly called her Margaret when she was living there.  Occasionally Marjorie will sit in the sunroom with an older man (possibly her husband Bliss?) and another woman.  She continues to foil many a decorating scheme in the house.

This spirit has been identified as Marjorie Damschroder.  She came to Elmore in 1947 and lived in this house with her husband Bliss.  She owned and operated the Janway Kennel in Ottawa County, which specilaized in breeding Collies.  In her later years, she became reclusive and was quite demanding about the way that she wanted things--especially the house.  She died in 1995 of natural causes.

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Marjorie Damschroder's Obituary.

Harrington (Old Elmore) Cemetery on Rice St.

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The Old Elmore Cemetery was established in 1837 on a plot of land that was donated by Israel Harrington for this purpose.  The cemetery was later named in his honor as he was the circuit judge minister, and one of the first trustees of Elmore.  The last burials to this cemetery were made in the early 1920s, though it was used less often after the platting of the Guss (now Union) Cemetery in 1871.  A number of early citizens, Revolutionary War veterans, and influential first families are buried at this spot.  To learn who is buried there, click HERE.

Former Elmore Mayor, Lowell Krumnow once left a tape recorder on at the Old Cemetery at night.  He came back to play his findings and could clearly hear whispers and the sounds of horse hooves clicking on pavement.

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A photograph of the Old Elmore Cemetery from the 1910s.

St. John's United Church of Christ
448 Rice St.

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The Lutheran Reformed & Evangelical congregation formed St. John's in Elmore in 1860, locating themselves on Piety Hill (Harris St.). Finding that their membership was steadily growing, they built the present church at this Rice St. location in 1921 under the parsonage of Rev. E.J. Soell.  The land was previously owned by August Siefeldt.  

 

From 1927-1937, the church boasted an "Orchestra" of about twenty members under the leadership of Harry Trautman.  They met on Sunday mornings in the sanctuary before Sunday School.  The orchestra would accompany the hymnal singing and would often be contracted out for community events.

During the 1930s, a few members of the orchestra went inside the church to retrieve some of the instruments that they kept up in the belfry tower.  When they entered, they could hear a piano playing and soft singing.  They looked around and saw no one at the piano or organ.  They went up to the belfry to see if someone was playing their instruments, but found no one there.  As they stepped into the tower, the music halted. 

In more recent years, parishioners have heard the phantom music playing and some have experienced windows shaking or have have felt generally uneasy when visiting the building at night.  

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Photographs from the church cornerstone laying ceremony in 1921.

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A view of St. John's during the 1940s.

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The interior of St. John's c. 1970s that shows the entrances to the belfry tower.

420 Ames St.

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In November of 1976, Jim Krumnow was awoken in the dead of night by the sound of something crashing to the floor in the utility room.  No one else was awake yet, so he grabbed a flashlight and headed to the kitchen to investigate.  He turned on the kitchen light, but it immediately flickered off.  He switched on his flashlight, but it too turned off.  He thought this was strange, but he continued on to the utility room.

By the time he reached the door of the utility room, a man was standing in front of the door.  He was handsome and well dressed in a suit, but his eyes were glowing red.  Jim looked at the man and the man looked back at him, but seemed to stare right through him.  The hair stood up on the back of Jim's neck.  He instantly knew that the man was the devil so he turned around to sit at the kitchen table. He grabbed his Bible and started reciting the the 23rd Psalm.  The next thing that he remembers is sitting on the edge of the bed.  He never forgot that night and the man never returned.

344 E. 4th St.

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Mary Deno answered a telephone call from a neighbor inquiring why the light in her garage was still on.  She thought that perhaps the garage door malfunctioned, as no one had been in the garage for days.  Mary and her sister walked over to turn off the light, but it had suddenly turned off right before they approached the door.  Moments later, the hospital called saying that their father had fallen out of bed and kept babbling about how he needed to get home and get something out of the garage.  The hospital thought they he was delirious, but the sisters thought that it was perhaps he who was in the garage.  He died shortly after the phone call from the hospital.

Mary Deno's father, Raymond "Tex" Deno was part of the "Smoke Creek Country Band" in the late 1930s and was a member of the Elmore Fire Department.  He died on September 20, 1986.

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In 1989 when Mary's mother passed away, Mary's sister had an apartment in the basement.  She had left to run some errands and when she returned, she heard footsteps on the stairs.  She saw her mother and father walking down the stairs holding hands.  They asked her if everyone was alright.  She said that they were fine and her parents said they were also good.  The next thing that she remembers is the cat hissing and growling toward the stairs, but her parents had disappeared.  She was not afraid, but admitted that it was a strange occurrence.

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There have been reports of the spirits of an entire family still living in this house.  A young boy can be seen playing with children's toys (and moving around existing toys) or playing basketball in the driveway.  There is also a woman that lingers in the upstairs portion of the house.  One of the inhabitants claims that she had cuddled with him one night and it scared him half to death.  She comes out of a closet , which used to be an entrance to a duplex.  There is also a gentleman wearing a top hat that walks up and down the hallways.  Cabinets and doors will also often open and close on their own accord.

449 Toledo St.

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There are many rumors that violent ghosts occupy this property.  As a result, this house usually has a difficult time being rented out.  Renters rarely stay there long and refuse to talk about anything that has happened there.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Ernst Freemark (Freimark) owned the home.  He was a substitute teacher at the Elmore High School and also taught English and other foreign languages privately at his home.  He was also an amateur archaeologist.  He traveled the world during the turn of the 20th century and brought back ancient artifacts from Europe, Africa, and Asia.  He also brought back the ashes of his wife that died while visiting Burma.  

 

There have been a number of studies of the paranormal that suggest that objects can haunted from within or they sometime hold spirits for transport.  Could the restless ghosts on this property be ancient spirits from across the globe? 

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Ernst Freimark in 1961 displaying some of his ancient treasures inside of his Toledo St. home.

Commodore Perry Credit Union
365 Rice St.

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John H. Magee started the first bank in Elmore.  It was privately owned and although there is no proof when the bank first opened, it may have been as early as 1868.  The Bank of Elmore was incorporated into a state bank in 1907 with the current building being erected in 1926.  Commodore Perry Credit Union went into the building after Huntington's closure in 2017.

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John Magee (right) in 1907 just before the Bank of Elmore was incorporated.

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The former Bank of Elmore c.1910s before the current structure was built. The site was formerly a Drug Store and Billiard Hall.

In 2018, the Commodore Perry Credit Union Branch Manager, Courtney Hammer and a male teller were cleaning up some items in the basement when wood trim fell across the room in the direction of the teller.  A number of boxes began to fall shortly after, also in his direction.  Weeks later, when she and the teller were locking up, she went upstairs to double check everything.  It had been dead quiet for hours.  As she approached the top of the stairs, she heard murmuring and soft talking.  The voices were tinny and far away.  It instantly gave her goosebumps and tears sprang to her eyes.  The teller was locking up on the other side of the glass and he reported hearing continuous loud knocking.  Courtney asked him to come upstairs with her to check on the voices, but no one was there.

One of the other tellers had an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) app on her phone and one day she turned it on while she went into the basement.  When she played it for her co-workers later, the voices that were recorded clearly repeated "Get Her...Get Her..."  Courtney often heard squeaking noises at her desk that originate from the basement.  There is an old bank vault down there and when the door opens, it sounds like the same squeaking.  However, there is never anyone in the basement while the squeaking occurs.

Christy's Corner Cafe & Creatively Altered
368 & 366 Rice St.

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Built in 1873, these two buildings housed various grocery stores (Schaenfelds & Bothe) and tailor/millinery shops.  The I.O.O.F (International Order of Odd Fellows Club also had their meetings on the second floor for a number of years.  

Various staff members of the Former Red, White & Brew (now Christy's Corner) coffee shop have claimed to to have seen the apparition of a woman, whom they fondly referred to as "Gertie".  Shw was always wearing a long skirt.  However her appearances are always fleeting as she walks the halls in the kitchen area.  She often plays with the light switches and opens and shuts locked doors.  Occasionally she appears in the adjoining building (now Creatively Altered).

There are many women from the past that we suspect could be "Gertie", but the favorite seems to be Josephine Gossman.  She lived with her father George Gossman in the adjoining building (Creatively Altered) when it was still Gossman's Tailor Shop.  This shop operated from the 1870s until the 1940s and Josephine was a seamstress there.  She died in 1940 at age 80, having had a debilitating stroke a month before her death.

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Shaenfeld Grocery (left) and Gossman Tailors (right) c. 1880s

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George Gossman, owner of the tailor shop and father of Josephine.

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Obituary of Josephine Gossman

Woodmore Admin. Offices
349 Rice St.

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This site was the home of the Elmore Opera House.  This particular building was rebuilt in 1895 by Louis Jeremy after a devastating fire wiped out half the block the year prior.  The Opera House hosted traveling theater, minstrel shows, medicine men, basketball games, school plays, and graduation ceremonies.  The second floor also held the Elmore Portage Lodge Freemasons from 1909 until their move to the United Brethren Church location in 1925.  It now houses the Administrative offices of the Woodmore School System.

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The aftermath of the of the 1894 fire that destroyed the Opera House and Jaeger Hardware.  It was caused by a fallen kerosene lamp in the butcher shop next door.  Fire spread quickly as the temperature outside was below freezing and water froze before it could reach the fire to put it out.

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A view of the interior of the Opera House on January 26, 1909 at the installation dinner for Portage Lodge Freemason members.

The resident ghost, "Opera House Mary", as she is fondly called by those who have seen her, is a lively spirit that often graces the right window of the upper floor.  She wears a corset, antique garb, and a robe that she likes to open to flash people passing by. This is very risqué behavior from someone that is suspected to be from the early 20th century.  Once inside the Opera House, visitors can occasionally hear faint music or the excited murmurings of people.

DeStazio's Pizza
351 Rice St.

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Elmore Town Hall/Downtown
344 Rice St.

The A.W. Luckey Engine Company became Elmore's first Fire Department in 1868.  An astounding number of fires swept through Elmore in the 1890s, claiming the lives of several citizens and firefighters.  The old fire station (next to town hall) has ghosts of firemen from decades past.  If you listen carefully, you can hear men talking to each other when no one else is around.

Medium, Elizabeth Wharrey, passed through the downtown district of Elmore in the 1990s and stated that she felt the presence of the spirit of an African American man that had overstayed his welcome in town.  She had visions of him being horsewhipped in the street at this location.  Other times she could she him walking up and down the road.  It is believed that this man could be Finley Fountain, who was well known in Elmore.  He burglarized the Damschroder Store and several downtown Toledo stores in the 1880s.

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The A.W Luckey Fire Department in 1870, showcasing their new water pumper on the left.

Elmore General Store
346 Rice St.

This building was once the Damschroder Dry Goods Store, which opened at this location in 1883.  Christopher W. Damschroder 

When it was the Elmore Five & Dime in the 1990s, customers would often see three gentlemen clerks in period suits cheerfully waiting on them.  Employees have said that that on days when they would leave messes in the store to clean up in the morning, they would find everything tidied when they came in the next day--despite having locked the door and no keys in circulation.  It has also been reported that many have felt cold spots throughout the building, which is often said to be the presence of the spirit.  

 

The owner of the Five and Dime, Rick Claar lived upstairs in the shop until his death in 2021.  He recalled noticing things being moved around in the store and his apartment on a regular basis.  He once came upstairs and saw an entire family at his dining room table holding hands with heads bowed down in a prayer-like state. They were wearing old fashioned attire as well. They slowly dissipated after about 15 seconds, leaving no trace that they were ever there.  Claar suspected that they were members of the Damschroder Family. It appeared that they were mourning a loss of some kind--reliving that important moment.

The current store operator often hears footsteps on the second floor and coming down the stairs into her store area, though there are no tenants or other employees in the building.

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The Christopher W. Damschroder Family c.1900

Could they be the ones that appeared in the upstairs dining room?

Elmore General Store
346 Rice St.