Fernando Cortez Kelton
Kelton Family Items
See the Kelton House
Dr. Leslie Kelton
See also Heritage
Garden & Museum
A Service of the
Junior League of Columbus
586 East Town Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
of place kept the Kelton family in their grand Victorian townhouse for
nearly 125 years. That attachment laid the foundation for a museum that
features an extraordinary continuity of documents and furnishings associated
with one Columbus family and their graceful, engaging way of life.
Kelton House is
a treasure trove of Victoriana, containing everything from lavishly embellished
Victorian silverware to more obscure items such as the woven-hair brooch
worn by Sophia Kelton. A
scrapbook kept by Anna Kelton from 1860 to 1870 gives a glimpse of what
one young woman thought worth saving: pressed flowers from summer vacations,
society-page articles, news clippings and letters describing the Civil War
and her brother's death in the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, Mississippi.
The massive drapery cornices in the front parlor look suspiciously like
a Victorian bed; in fact, Sophia Kelton had Thomas Lawrence, a family employee,
dismantle a walnut bedstead and install the pieces above the windows.
Beneath those same windows, Lawrence married one of the runaway slaves who
took shelter in the house while it was a station on the Underground Railroad.
Perhaps this exceptional
pairing of family house and family treasures could have been expected,
given the far-seeing nature of Kelton family members. Fernando
Kelton, who built the house in 1852, must have anticipated Columbus'
mid-century commercial boom -- he became the first businessman to supply
drygoods and pharmaceuticals on a wholesale basis. At a time when ladies
were expected to quietly retire to their domestic duties, Kelton family
members were among the first women to attend The Ohio State University.
Laura Kelton played an instrumental role in establishing the first kindergarten
program in the Columbus schools. Her daughter, Grace, born in 1881, attended
the Pratt Institute and Parsons art schools before returning to Columbus,
where she became one of the most respected interior designers in the city.
When Grace Kelton
died in 1975, her will entrusted the property to the Columbus Foundation
with the stipulation that her family home be persevered and used for educational
1976 the Junior League of Columbus took on the task of renovating and
restoring the house and garden to create a museum of 19th-century life.
Today the Kelton
House offers an ongoing program of house tours, special events and educational
opportunities. An active volunteer program provides a training ground
for individuals interested in historic preservation, the decorative arts,
American history and museum management.
House Museum & Garden
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
586 East Town Street, Columbus,
Sundays, 1-4 p.m.
Tours can be arranged at other times by scheduling in advance. Rooms also
may be rented for meetings, parties and weddings.
Admission: $1.50 per person, with discounts for children and senior
citizens. Special event prices vary.
The Museum Shop offers
items in keeping with Victorian sensibilities and provides a source of
income to the Kelton House.
Wheelchair Access The first floor of Kelton House, which includes
the parlors, dining room, meeting room and bathroom, is wheelchair accessible.
Parking Parking is available in the brickwalled Junior League parking
lot on Franklin Avenue, between Washington and Lester.
the Ohio Arts Council
Join the legacy of Grace Kelton
and the spirit of generosity that restored the Kelton House Museum and
Friends of the Kelton House provide critical funding to continue the restoration
of the Museum's interior. Friends' dollars help preserve and, in some
cases, purchase the Museum's beautiful brocades, colorful carpets, and
distinctive accessories, all carefully researched to recreated an authentic
Benefits of Membership
Friends of the Kelton House receive free admission during regular Museum
hours, four tickets to the annual Victorian Christmas Open Houses, an
invitation to the annual Friends' Tea, discounts on special event tickets,
and 10 percent off all Museum Shop purchases.
$250 The Kelton Society
Please complete the information
and return to the Kelton House with your check, payable to:
Telephone _______ - _______ - _______
Junior League of Columbus/Kelton
Kelton House Musem and Garden
586 East Town Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215