Ramsdell House: Ceredo, West Virginia

Exterior 2

Z.D. Ramsdell House

Back in May, Mrs. Present and I traveled to nearby Ceredo, WV for a sneak peek of the recently restored Ramsdell House. Many of the objects displayed were found in the home. Please enjoy the pictures. I have a bit of history concerning Z.D. Ramsdell, his house, and the town of Ceredo at the end of the post. Links to more information on Eli Thayer, Ramsdell, and Ceredo are also provided.

Exterior 3

The house was built on an elevated position, possibly on an Indian mound


Exterior 4

Ramsdell Story










Toys found in the home


Ramsdell served as Postmaster


Clothing and leather tools found in the home



One of a collection of political cartoons


Zopher Deane Ramsdell left Massachusetts in 1858. Ramsdell came to Virginia (now West Virginia) to join Eli Thayer’s colony of abolitionists at Ceredo. Thayer believed that if a “free labor” colony were established in a slave state; the benefits of free enterprise would be self-evident. Slaveholders would then, to serve their own best interests, move away from slave labor and adopt the superior free labor system. Thayer chose the town’s location, in part, because it contained fertile land for farming. Ceredo refers to Ceres, the goddess of grain. Thriving abolitionists would also serve their communities through public service, and forward abolitionist principles while in public office. Ramsdell lived Thayer’s ideal of the “abolition colonist” working in leather goods, manufacturing shoes and other leather products. Ramsdell was also involved in the postal service, the Republican Party, and free education. He served as a Quartermaster during the Civil War. Prior to the Civil War, Ceredo’s residents were mostly concerned with the abolition of slavery, and it appears that Ramsdell was deeply involved in the cause. Ceredo is also located on the Ohio River, and speculation is that the community was involved in the Underground Railroad, helping fugitive slave to cross the river into Ohio. It is believed that Z.D. Ramsdell’s home was part of the network.

Z.D. Ramsdell: https://www.theclio.com/web/entry?id=14854

Ceredo, WV: https://townofceredo.com/history

Eli Thayer: https://civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/thayer-eli

Eli Thayer: https://civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/new-england-emigrant-aid-company

  8 comments for “Ramsdell House: Ceredo, West Virginia

  1. July 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    There sure was a lot of effort put into the abolitionist movement. This museum seems evidence of some of that effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 23, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Excellent pictures and story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. July 23, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, to both statements! Eli Thayer was an interesting person. His efforts, and the efforts of his “colonists”, against slavery were remarkable. They also developed abolitionist communities in Kansas. Truly “Shining cities upon a hill”


  4. July 23, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Wow those are wonderful pictures – looks like it was a very neat visit! I also enjoyed the history at the end. I wasn’t very familiar with it, so I learned something new! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 12, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Fascinating history here. Plus – and I know this will sound shallow – it looks like a very nice house.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 24, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner.


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