The Ealy House
The New Albany Plain Township Historical Society spent several years restoring the Ealy House at 6359 Dublin-Granville Road, a mid-nineteenth-century building reflective of historical development in the area. This museum currently houses collections of local artifacts including items from a doctor’s office, childrens’ toys, farming tools, and a working foot-pumped organ. A historical marker in front of the house was dedicated on Founders Day 2010 and the museum is now open for tours by appointment.
The Ealys were a German family that immigrated to the United States in the eighteenth century. By 1830 a branch had established itself next door to Ohio in Washington County, Pennsylvania. In that year John Henry Ealy bought for $225 a 75-acre parcel where the Ealy House stands and moved his family there.
An interesting historical feature of the land John Henry bought is that it was part of the 4000 acres in the southwest quarter of Plain Township which Dudley Woodbridge bought from the Federal Government in 1800 and sold to John Huffman in 1802. Huffman proceeded to sell off his holdings through metes-and-bounds surveys. In 1820 Huffman sold what later became the Ealy parcel to his daughter Catherine Roth for $120. In 1830 she sold it to John Henry. In the ways indicated, John Henry’s acquisition leads back into the early disposition of Federal lands in central Ohio.
Ealy Front Door The 1830’s were a time of much activity in the area. Noble Landon and William Yantis laid out the town of New Albany in 1837. Shop keepers and craftsmen soon established themselves along the High Street. John Henry dammed Rose Run, which ran through his land, and constructed one of at least five water-powered sawmills in Plain Township, which operated from the 1830’s to the 1850’s.
Ealy Fireplace John Henry died in 1845. His will left all of his land to his son George and half-interests in his mill to George and his brother Peter. Other siblings in other ways found footing in the Township’s agrarian-entrepreneurial class. In time George felt ready to follow a pattern familiar to those who were prosperous like himself, namely, to build a substantial brick dwelling.
Ealy Upstairs Hall In 1860 he wrote with a pencil on an attic wall the names of the craftsmen (“workhands”) who were building or had just finished building the Ealy House. Their names are well known to the Historical Society: for example, the Beecher family of carpenters who moved in about the time New Albany was founded; the Schott family of masons who moved from Columbus’ German Village to Plain Township in 1850. The fine quality of local craftsmanship is part of the historical significance of the house as is the house’s architectural style, a transitional one between neo-classical and Victorian. The house’s solid composition and appearance might make one think they resulted from the owners’ German descent and the sense of proportion peculiar to its German-immigrant masons.
Ealy Front Hall Some of the workmen went off to fight in the Civil War soon after George wrote their names on the attic wall, another historical association the Ealy House has. The Ealys themselves contributed. George’s brother Daniel and his three sons, Peter, Henry, and Martin, all enlisted. Peter, who died at the age of thirty-two, seems to have experienced shell shock. His wife in a petition claimed that Peter suffered from “acute mania.”
Restoration of the Ealy House was carried out in accordance with the Department of the Interior’s guidelines. Mortar used in tuck pointing, for example, is the same as that used originally.