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100 Years Ago

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GreatStone Castle - 1895

Perhaps no other residence in west central Ohio captures the glamour and opulence of the 1890s more than this home. Whitby Place was conceived and designed by W.H.C. Goode, one of the wealthiest men in Shelby County, Ohio, and the owner of the American Steel Scraper Company. Along with its two acres, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mr. Goode named this house after Whitby, England, the Yorkshire ancestral home of the Goode family. The area is known for its rugged beauty and the beautiful mansions throughout the countryside. During a visit to the area, Goode saw an English chateau and decided to base the design of his Sidney home after it. Construction of the mansion began in 1892 and was completed in 1895 at a cost of $35,000. It is made of 18 inch thick Bedford, Indiana, limestone. It is approximately 17,000 square feet, with 30 rooms featuring hardwoods imported from throughout the world. The ten fireplaces are made out of American marble.

W.H.C. personally oversaw every detail of the construction, from its original design concept down to the types of hardware used on the doors. When he chose the land, he paid $25 for the house that was on the property and had it relocated across the street.

Whitby survived major fires in 1899 and 1941. The Goode family lived at Whitby for almost 80 years. The Way International assumed responsibility for 16 years from 1974 until 1990, when Ray and Alma Willis purchased the facility. They renamed it the Greatstone Castle. They lived there for 4 years until Frederick and Victoria Keller purchased the building in 1994. They operate it as an events center/bed and breakfast.

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'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 


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