A Halloween Celebration at the Columbian House 1927
The Columbian House had fallen on hard times by its 90th birthday. It had been empty and abandoned for some years when, in June of 1927 it was purchased by Toledoean Charles F. Captron and restored to its former condition. Mr. Capron was especially impressed with the famous third floor grand ballroom built in 1837 by John Pray. Restoration complete, the ballroom was leased to Mr. and Mrs. George Albert Moore and the Misses Eve and Bertha Hillabrand of Perrysburg for a Halloween costume party. The guest of honor was none other than the automobile magnate Henry Ford and his wife. It was reported in the Oct 31, 1927 Toledo Blade that the Fords arrived by limousine and brought the Ford old time dance orchestra with him. The Fords had dinner at Mrs. Ging’s renowned dining room in Waterville prior to the Halloween Ball.
Over 1000 guests danced to the music of the Ford Orchestra in the old ballroom, were served cider and doughnuts in the old bar room and fortunes were told in the 2nd floor room which had been used as a jail cell many years ago. The residents were excited about the visit by such a famous person and rumors were spread about that Mr. Ford would buy the lovely old building to add to his collection. Obviously he did not and John Pray’s old Columbian House is still part of Waterville.