Gill House

The landmark Gill House at the corner of Gill Avenue and Harding Way West in Galion will welcome visitors on Saturday, July 31.

GALION -- Preserving Galion, Inc. will welcome one and all to The Gill House for its Henry Ford Birthday Party on Saturday, July 31 from 1 to 5 p.m..

Events will take place on the lawn outside and also inside the house, located at 342 Harding Way West in Galion.

This popular annual celebration began in 2019, however the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.

Henry Ford 1921 with car

Henry Ford is shown here in 1921 with one of the Ford Motor Company's automobiles.

"We’re thrilled to bring it back for 2021," event organizers stated in a press release.

Visitors can enjoy antique automobiles on display, new vehicles from Donley Ford, music performances, a history display, and free tours of the Gill House. There will also be a food vendor on site for tasty treats for a warm summer afternoon.

"You will also be able to view the latest work taking place, including a complete restoration of the oval dining room this summer made possible with a generous grant from the Galion Community Foundation," organizers stated. "Word has it that Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone themselves will be joining in the fun -- be sure to stop by and meet them."

The Gill House was built between 1902 and 1904 by Bloomer and Nellie Gill. At the turn of the last century, Bloomer was an executive with a Galion company that made buggy wheels, and his work took him to Detroit on a frequent basis. It was there that he met Henry Ford, who made trips to Galion to visit his friend.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford

In fact, it came down through the Gill family that Ford was the first person seen driving a car on the streets of Galion. Ford was born on July 30, 1863.

The Gills were also close family friends of Henry Ford’s good friend, inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who also visited the house.

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