William A. Ely Mansion

Built in 1862. About 1881, ornate third story added. Dismantled in 1947-48.

This house has quite the history. Charles Arthur Ely, a son of Elyria founder Heman Ely, began construction on the home in 1862 on 1,400 acres of land. Land he had inherited from his father. Charles Ely never lived to see his home completed, he died in 1864 in Cincinnati at the age of 35 having suffered poor health for years. Charles had married and left one child, a son, William Arthur Ely. Only 4 years old when his father died, his mother raised him in the home only to die herself soon after his 21st birthday. Soon he married Kitty Fisher and in 1883 they had a son named Arthur. When Arthur was only one year old, Kitty dies. William, so grief stricken by this, refused to make any changes to the house for the next 62 years! Despite his wealth they lived in semi-poverty, on starvation diets. When Arthur grew to adulthood William refused to allow him to marry, trying to save his son from the grief he experienced losing his wife. So under Williams thumb was Arthur that he capitulated to all his fathers wishes. William died in 1946. In 1947 his son ordered the demolition of this house that was his prison, in a way, all his life. It was then dismantled for its valuable lumber from 1947-48. In 1951, at age 68, Arthur finally was able to marry. Sadly too late for him to have children. Arthur built a ranch home on the same land as the mansion, and lived out his life with his wife there, finally happy. He died in 1958. The ranch house still stands to the left of the Elywood Park entrance.