By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Black House offers Halloween tours
Spooky Black House1.jpg
Tours of the Spooky Black House will be offered next weekend, Oct. 22-23, from 5 to 8 p.m. A fundraiser for the continued restoration of the oldest home in McMinnville, tour admission is $5 for ages 3 and up. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Halloween is not complete without a visit to a home almost two centuries old.

The Black House was constructed in 1825. It was deeded to the Eagle Club in 1984 for restoration and preservation. Over its 196 years, many lives have walked through the doors and some may have chosen to never leave.

Jeanette Lowery relayed one experience she had when the property was first deeded to the Eagle Club in 1984 for restoration and preservation. 

“We had to move all the furniture out before the godchild would give us the deed to the house. We moved all the furniture to the Blue Building. I went back to close up. It was beginning to get dark. I’d been in there hundreds of times. When I got upstairs into the child’s room, I smelled rubbing alcohol. It was so potent, it scared me to death. I took off running as far as I could go. I missed every step I could miss.”

That aroma was likely Dr. Thomas Black. Constructed in 1825 by Jesse Coffee, the house derives its name from the doctor who owned and used it for his practice. 

Lowery continued, “I know there was no rubbing alcohol in the house. I’ve been all through it. For a long time, I carried a butcher knife from the kitchen with me when I walked through the house alone. That’s how real it was and how terrified I was. I believe we upset Dr. Black. He didn’t like it because I was moving all the stuff out.”

Lowery is the current executive director and oversees the restoration effort. 

The home’s rooms will be decorated for Halloween. Tours will be offered this Friday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for ages 3 and up. Bags of candy will be handed out to youngsters as they exit. Guests are instructed to enter at the gate on the High Street side of the property. 

Spooky sightings aside, these tours are for fun.

“We’re going to have each room decorated,” said Lowery. “It’s been fun decorating everything. We encourage everyone to come out and support us.” 

The Black House is located at 301 W. Main Street.