The Joseph Swift Mansion
Ritter Public Library is modelled after the home of Joseph Swift, called Rosedale, which was built in 1840 on the Vermilion River seven miles south of Vermilion in the vicinity known as Swift’s Hollow, near Mill Hollow.
The house was cited in “Early Homes of Ohio” by Ihna Frary, who said Joseph Swift was a native of Massachusetts, son of one of the founders of Williams College.
“The broad recessed porch with its four Ionic columns… gives the house rare distinction,” Frary wrote.
“Architects from far and near were attracted by the unusual character of the house, but its remote location led ultimately to its abandonment. In time it became known as the ‘Haunted House’ and was regarded as fair game for all manner of vandalism.
“Roofs sagged, a column lay across the lawn, doors were torn from their hinges, walls were disfigured with names and finally in 1923, it burned down, just as a movement was being started to purchase and restore it.
“With its passing, Ohio lost one of its rarest architectural treasures.”