Thousands of people visit the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden each year through group and student tours, state dinners, trade missions, receptions and various other events and activities. And while it is a private home it is also a very public space that offers visitors many opportunities to discover more about Ohio history, arts, architecture and industry as well as our natural spaces and landscapes. For students, it’s a place to learn more about our state’s political history, the executive branch of government and the role of the Governor. Brief History of the Residence
The Ohio Governor’s Residence was originally built as a private residence in 1925 by businessman Malcolm D. Jeffrey, whose family owned the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, makers of coal mining equipment. After only five years of living in his new home, Mr. Jeffrey passed away from complications from injuries sustained during World War I. Mr. Jeffrey’s widow lived in the home until 1936 when she sold it to Mr. Jeffrey’s older sister, Mrs. Florence Jeffrey Carlile. Mrs. Carlile added a second floor master suite and two rooms to the main floor and enjoyed it until her passing in 1954. Mrs. Carlile’s heirs eventually donated the home to the state of Ohio to be used as an executive residence and since 1957; the home has served in an official capacity for ten Ohio Governors.
Significant efforts to restore the Residence began during the Celeste Administration in the 1980s and the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first nonprofit organization was also established as a means to help defray expenses not covered by the state budget. During the 1990s, then First Lady Janet Voinovich initiated a successful search for era-appropriate furnishings from state agencies’ storage and local sales. During her tenure as First Lady, Hope Taft focused much of her efforts on establishing the Heritage Garden as a reflection of the five major natural areas of the State of Ohio. She continued her work with the Heritage Garden during the Strickland Administration and partnered with then First Lady Frances Strickland to establish the Friends of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden as a nonpartisan, non-profit organization to support the preservation and enhancement of the residence and grounds. Current First Lady, Karen W. Kasich and the Friends are now working together to bring the Residence back to the 1920s time period and highlight Ohio industry, craftsmanship, and art.
We invite you to learn more about the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden. Join us for a scheduled in-person guided tour
. Tours are conducted on most Tuesdays throughout the year, with special hours in December.