The Kelton House Museum stands as a snapshot of 19th century life and a station on the Underground Railroad.
It is a treasure trove of Victoriana, containing everything from lavishly embellished Victorian silverware to unusual items such as a woven-hair brooch worn by Kelton family members.
When Grace Kelton died in 1975, her will entrusted the Kelton property to the Columbus Foundation with the stipulation that her family home be preserved and used for educational purposes.
Today the Kelton House offers an ongoing programming of house tours, special events, and educational opportunities, and is run by the Junior League of Columbus.
Kelton House Museum Hours
Monday-Wednesday (by appointment only)
Thursday – Sunday | 12pm-4pm
Month of January | CLOSED
New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas | CLOSED
Kelton House Docent-Led Tours
Tours will highlight the beautifully restored Museum and tell you about life in early Columbus through the eyes of the Kelton family.
Tours begin on the hour at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Arrive 5 min before tour begins. Details.
$7/adults, $5/seniors (55+), $3/student
Group rates available over 18 people. Maximum # of guests per tour: 30. No registration required.
Is Kelton House Haunted?
As a former stop in the Underground Railroad, the house has definitely witnessed some things. Once Grace Bird Kelton, the oldest living member of the family, passed away in 1967, the Junior League of Columbus took over the property and began renovations.
Since then, there have been numerous and regular occurrences that can’t be explained, such as interior doors opening in the night when the home is empty, people in period attire that disappear as suddenly as they appear, and furniture being moved.
Guests and staff have reported seeing various potential hauntings, but they are all harmless, and likely just former members of the family.
Note: the museum doesn’t not allow paranormal investigations on the property. So if you visit, please visit to explore and learn about the family and history, not as just a ghost hunt.
Kelton House Museum Programming
Check back for upcoming events!
The Kelton House Museum & Garden
586 East Town Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Want to explore more? We have a whole list of discounted and free museum days for great museums around Columbus.
Past events; TBA for 2022
Fernando’s Funeral: Victorian Mourning and the Ghosts That Linger on Town Street
October 27 and 28, 2022 from 6:30-9 pm.
The Kelton House Museum & Garden and the Junior League of Columbus present Fernando’s Funeral: A 2022 Haunted Tour.
This guided tour focuses on the stories, sometimes tragic, of the generations of Keltons that once lived. You will also hear recent first hand spooky experiences of the Mansion. This once-a-year tour is not to be missed!
Purchase tickets before they sell out! Tours begin on the half hour with 15 people maximum per tour. $18/person.
No Groupons accepted for this event. Friends of the Kelton House can email firstname.lastname@example.org for your discount code. Tour is recommended for ages 10 and up. No strollers allowed for this event. Free parking available at 616 Franklin Ave. in the Kelton House/Junior League parking lot.
On the second Sunday of each month (CURRENTLY SUSPENDED), join The Kelton House Museum for Trails of Hope, a series of historical re-enactments depicting the struggles for freedom on the Underground Railroad. Tickets are $5 per adult; $2 per child age 6 and over, and reservations are not required.
Victorian Tea at Kelton House
The Kelton House also hosts Victorian Teas throughout the year with a tasteful sampling of savories and sweets reminiscent of 19th century ladies’ get-togethers. The menu for each Tea is different, but is always accompanied by traditional Earl Grey tea. Reservations are required.
Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 11 am and 3 pm. Light faire will be served while you enjoy your friends, new and old. $28 each.
Kelton House Juneteenth Celebration
The Kelton House Museum and Garden celebrates Juneteenth on June 19, 2022 from 12-4 PM. The afternoon will include events celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans on June 19, 1865.
Families can create their own family flag and relax in the gardens. Admission to the Kelton House will be free but donations are always welcome.
Schedule for Juneteenth Celebration at the Kelton House
12pm: Museum opens for free tours and family activity
12:30: Refreshments provided by 5 Star Planning
1:pm: Presentation by Sarah Richardt, “Who is Rosetta Armistead: The Underground Railroad and Town St.”
1:30: Columbus State Vocal Ensemble Performance
2:pm: Featured Speaker: Julialynne Walker
Holiday Tea at Kelton House
Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 1 pm. Experience a special holiday tea at the Kelton House with a festive display from the collection of Michael Gerard. Enjoy your tea with selections from a sweet and savory table.
Tickets are $26 and very limited (34 remain as of Nov 18). Friends of the Kelton House please contact email@example.com for your discount code. Purchase tickets here.
Awesome! I’m not affiliated with the event (I just share the fun around the city), and I haven’t made it to a tea myself, but I’d love to some day! Please feel free to stop back and let me know what you thought of it after you go!
KATE KIDDON TILL says
Just made phone reservations for the tea on 3-8-2017. So looking forward to it and going on a guided tour of the museum:)
Thanks Sarah. I will make the change – it used to say that on the Kelton House website, but it appears they changed it at some point. I will check out what events Thurber House has to offer.
Sarah P says
Hello! the Kelton House isn’t the only house museum in Columbus. The Thurber House (for James Thurber at 77 W Jefferson) is also a house museum.