Located off of state Route 93 is Roseville Prison. Across a rustic steel bridge, the 27-acres of land opened in 1927, and operated until 1966. However, it has been decaying for the past 50 years. The allure of the decaying facade often attracts visitors, despite the land being private property and heavily safeguarded by its owner.
As one of two satellite prisons in Ohio, prisoners from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus who demonstrated good behavior were often transferred to Roseville. They produced all of the bricks and built their own prison. The inmates made 30,000 bricks daily, many of which bore the marker “convict made.” The medium-security work facility taught inmates to work ovens for other state building products and farming in order to produce their own food and sell goods to the community.
In 2007, the property was auctioned off to Linda Gebhart who bought the 27-acres for $89,500. Following her death, the property was left to her partner Robert Taggert. It is filled with history but has been left to perish and now stores a failed trucking business. The Taggert family has turned the once forced home of “criminals” into their own personal haven.
A popular historical site and haunted myth, the owners continue to have a major problem with people coming onto the property to just “look around.” Beyond a brick-paved driveway and garden wall lies the two original guard houses. Further, a number of trailers are occupied by owner Robert Taggert’s other members of the family and a collection of dogs and cats. “The slums baby, but it’s family, and it’s ours,” says daughter of Linda Gebhart and Robert Taggert,
There have been reports of “The Lady in White” at the location. According to legends, late at night the figure of a woman in a white dress can be seen jumping from the roof of the main building. Despite the myth, there is no record of jumps from the property’s roof, or even deaths, seemingly giving no fuel for paranormal activity. Nothing more seems to remain than a weed-choked yard and crumbling structures. The history and bricked beast of beauty is hidden in the confines of the private family compound.
Few people are allowed on the grounds. Tourists, ghostbusters, intruders and the general public are unwelcome unless pre-approved by the family. “Would you want me walking around on your lawn?” says Gebhart-Taggert. “This is our home…We do not want individuals coming onto our property, taking pictures without permission.”
The prison sits in a small village filled with potential, guarded by at least one 9mm. “He will shoot first and ask questions later,” says Gebhart-Taggert of her father.
Any other “investigators” are asked to refrain from coming onto the property, private property owners have the right to press charges and protect their land. “I understand that this used to be owned by the county, but that’s no longer the issue,” says Gebhart-Taggert, warning masses to just look online.
If you wish to explore the Roseville Prison, take a virtual tour via YouTube.