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Gibbs Farmhouse - HauntedHouses.com

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Gibbs Farm House Museum

Address:

2097 Larpenteur Avenue West
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55113

LOCATION:

The Gibbs House Museum and farm are located around 8.92 miles, 14 minutes from down town Saint Paul, on Larpenteur Ave West, just west of Cleveland Avenue North.

DESCRIPTION and HISTORY:

Tom and I visited the Gibbs Farm House Museum on our road trip of 2007.  We took the tour of their house, and learned a lot about the Gibbs and life on a farm in the 19th century. We saw a sturdy, well built farm house, both the downstairs and upstairs.

Living on the Minnesota frontier wasn't for everyone, but Jane Debow, who was kidnapped as a child by a missionary family from her home in New York, grew up in a mission near Fort Snelling on the shores of  Lake Calhaun, which is present-day Minneapolis.  She grew up with the Dakota Indians, learned their culture, language and ways. Eventually, her missionary family, the Stevens moved to Illinois, where Jane met the love of her life, Heman Gibbs, a man 14 years her senior, who she married in 1847.

Heman Gibbs was a school teacher from Indiana, who had gone to Illinois to work in the mining field. It seems he was good at many things, and one of them turned out to be farming and running a business, though he cared deeply about the importance of education, and had a giving, generous nature as did Jane.

About a year after Jane Debow married Heman Gibbs in 1848, they moved to the Minnesota frontier, and bought from a Mexican War veteran 160 acres for $1.25 per acre.  Their land proved to be very fertile, located northwest of Saint Paul, not that far from where she grew up as a child. In fact, in 1849, Jane found the trail where her old friends the Dakota took on their northern migration, which crossed their farmland. Soon, she was reunited with her old friends, who would rest with the Gibbs every year for up to three weeks.

They began their married life living in a cozy log and sod cabin, during which they started a market garden, selling their produce in Saint Paul. The Gibbs grew potatoes, beets, turnips, sweet corn, carrots and summer fruits.   After five years of farming, Heman could afford to build a larger log cabin, in 1854. By 1867, they had a booming business and five children; 2 boys and three girls.   Ida, born in 1850, was rescued and adopted by the Gibbs in 1852, Abbie was born in 1855, Willie was born in 1858, Frank was born in 1862 and Lillie was born in 1865.

Heman built onto the log cabin, making additions in 1867, creating a much bigger farm house, with a second floor.

A parlor to receive guests,  and a small room off the parlor were added onto the log cabin on the first floor, and four bedrooms in an upstairs addition were added. The guest room was the small room off the parlor. Upstairs, there was a boys room, a girl's room, the parents room and a room for the school teacher, who taught the Gibbs children and the neighboring farm families, and eventually at the school which was built on land donated by the Gibbs.

By 1873, the Gibbs needed to hire outside help, to help in the farming, so they built a hired men's room as another addition. Also added was a summer kitchen where Jane and her daughters would cook meals for the hired help and the Gibbs family as well.

Eventually, Jane was able to make contact with her family in New York, though her father had already died, never knowing what had happened to her.

Heman died in 1891, and Jane died in 1910.  The farm was inherited by Abbie Gibbs and her family. In 1943,  the farm was sold to the University of Minnesota. In 1949, the farm was taken over by the Ramsey County Historical Society. In 1949, the Gibbs Museum was opened to the public.

In 1966, the Stoen schoolhouse was moved to the Gibbs Museum land.

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:

Jane and Heman Gibbs had a large family of 5 children, when tragedy happened in 1867, sometime after the new additions to their home were made.  Their third child, William, died of smoke inhalation when he was nine years old, after helping to beat back a grass fire, which threatened the farm and their home.

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MANIFESTATIONS:

Doors and cupboards open and close by themselves, without any help by the living.

The house's rocking chair likes to rock on its own power.

Footsteps have been heard in the hallway behind the kitchen, which proceeded up the stairs to the second floor. When investigated, no one living was here.

Sensitive people feel a tenseness in the atmosphere in various areas of the house.

Children's toys which are on display for tours in the upstairs rooms, are always locked away during the evening hours. Sometimes the toys are found the next morning out of their locked closet and laying around the boys room, like someone was playing with them.

An entity of a young boy has been spotted by the living in the house.

A patrolman checking out the grounds one evening saw the face of a boy peering at him out a second story bedroom window.

A tour guide was sitting on the porch, waiting for the next tour to start when she glanced in the window to see a boy standing there, looking at her. He disappeared into thin air.

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SOURCES:

Visitor's Guide to the Gibbs Museum - Ramsey County Historical Society

The Minnesota Road guide to Haunted Locations
by Chad Lewis & Terry Fisk
pages 222-227
Unexplained Research Publishing Company
2005

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