The G.W. Adams Educational Center is the Ohio registered nonprofit 501-(c)-3 organization that owns and is responsible for the Prospect Place mansion and estate. In short, our mission is to preserve the Prospect Place mansion while creating charitable and educational opportunities for local, regional, state-wide citizens and stakeholders of all ages.
Prior to our involvement as the executive board for the estate, most of our initial involvement with the mansion began several years ago through our private interests in “paranormal investigating”. Approximately four years ago, we became aware of legal and financial issues that developed with the mansion. That and health problems with George Adams; descendant of G.W. Adams and longtime Chairman/Director of the center. Upon further discussions we learned that the organization had become embroiled; first with the county, then with the state of Ohio on a longstanding property tax exemption dispute. Organizational and operations challenges, coupled with the gradual deterioration of the mansion made for a daunting challenge. Though the center was never intended to be operated as a “one man show,” that is in fact what it had become, and the onerous problems were easily visible to the mansion and Mr. Adams himself.
It was at this stage that a call for help was sent out to the few remaining active volunteers and others, particularly in the paranormal investigating community, throughout Ohio. It was at this point that the formative “Friends of Prospect Place Association” was founded. Under George’s direction, a new collection of volunteers returned to work; resuming restoration projects and general clean-up of the mansion. At this same time, we obtained pro-bono legal support on the property tax exemption matter that had wound its way through the court system and found its way onto the docket of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Despite the resumption of work at the mansion and the additional legal support, Mr. Adams’ health continued to deteriorate. In the summer of 2016, George informed the core group of volunteers that he had decided his time in residence at the mansion was coming to an end; that he preferred to take up residence closer to his healthcare providers in the Coshocton area and that he would resign his position and retire in about a year. Wanting to leave the organization as well prepared as possible, he nominated and supported the election of Jeff Cole to the current board.
With the arrival of spring and the resumption of activities at the mansion, Mr. Adams gave indications that his impending retirement might occur “sooner rather than later,” and that the existing Board of Trustees were also planning on resigning their long-held positions. To minimize any possible problems or disruptions in operations, Jeff Cole was unanimously elected to the role of Vice Chair of the G.W. Adams Center and recommended to immediately recruit and appoint a new board of his own choosing. From the original Friends of Prospect Place Association volunteers, Jeff obtained commitments from Kim Salzwedel and Johnathon Robson who would take on the roles of Vice Chair and Treasurer, respectively. More recent volunteer Carrie Dean, who had exhibited incredible commitment agreed to accept the role of Secretary. In time, her husband Jason Dean; an experienced carpenter, plumber, and general handyman agreed to join the board in the capacity of Staff Foreman.
In May of 2017, George Adams informed the new board that he had purchased a home in Coshocton and would be resigning his position and vacating the mansion in a matter of weeks, a full year ahead of what had initially been planned. This put the new board in a difficult position, forcing us to make immediate plans for the continued smooth operation of the mansion for public tours, previously scheduled public and private ghost hunts, and the resumption of restoration projects.
And so began the new boards’ involvement and commitment to the G.W. Adams Educational Center and the Prospect Place Estate. In the months since our abrupt inauguration, a lot of very positive activity has taken place; some which is obvious to the eyes and nose, other matters less obvious. As clean-up and restoration work continues inside, the board stands on the verge of resolving the legal and financial nightmare with both the county and state, and righting an organization that had tragically slipped into a dangerously precarious state. We are proud of the progress we have made and excited about what the future has in store for this incredible historical artifact.
Download a free copy of our in house history text here:
History of Prospect Place