The Ramsdell House

 Zophar D. Ramsdell was born on Nov 21, 1816. Soldier, postal official, manufacturer, senator, and merchant Z. D. Ramsdell came from humble beginnings and made a living in the shoe trade in Massachusetts.

Z. D. Ramsdell, an abolitionist was personally invited by Eli Thayers, another abolitionist to the newly founded city of Ceredo (the town being named after Ceresa, the Greek

goddess of grain) in 1858. The Ramsdell House was built by Z. D. Ramsdell in 1858. It was the first brick house built in Ceredo. Thayers brought in about 500 settlers, as part of an experiment to build an anti-slavery community in the slave state of Virginia. Ramsdell was a manufacturer and seller of boots and shoes, and he continued the business until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1859.

In 1861, he became a captain in the 5th Virginia Regiment, renamed the 5th West Virginia when the western counties gained statehood by Presidential decree (West Virginia being the only state that can make this claim).

Legend has it that The Ramsdell House was the last stop of the Underground Railroad in this area. It is believed that a tunnel with a secret entrance in the basement of the Ramsdell House provided access to an underground tunnel that led to the Ohio River for transportation to free Ohio.

After the war, President U. S. Grant appointed Ramsdell a postal inspector to assist in the rebuilding of the postal system in this area which was devastated and ravaged by the war. Soon after Z. D. Ramsdell served the State of West Virginia in the state senate in 1868 and 1869 and is said to have written the state’s first school law. Ramsdell was also a delegate to the Republican national conventions that nominated Grant, Hayes, and Garfield for president.

Zophar D. Ramsdell died of consumption, December 9, 1886 at the age of 70.

Today The Ramsdell House (The building served as a residence for 122 years) displays Civil War memorabilia, period antiques and Civil War records. The Ramsdell House shows a unique history of the Civil War. It is also believed that The Ramsdell House may be haunted. Footsteps have been reported by people renting the historic location for events. Shadows, music and disembodied voices have also been reported.