Malabar Farm

The OES visited Malabar Farm on September 10, 2005. Located in Lucas, southeast of Mansfield, Malabar Farm has a rich history. In January 1939, Pulitzer prize author Louis Bromfield bought 385 acres of exhausted farmland after he decided to move back to his home county, Richland County, in Ohio after spending some time in France. He named his newly acquired land Malabar Farm, after the Malabar coast of India. The success of The Rains Came made his purchase possible. Bromfield wished to run a working farm and eventually restored the farmland using soil and water conservation techniques that later became widely used. As he continued to restore the farmlands and preserving the surrounding woodland, he built onto his white country home, transforming it into a beautiful 32-room farmhouse.

Louis loved to have family, friends and neighbors over for parties and even hosted the wedding of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall on May 21, 1945. Bromfield served as the best man. Some of the other well-known celebrities to visit the home were Shirley Temple, Erol Flynn, and James Cagney. A “Wall of Stars” filled with photos of all the celebrities who visited hangs in one of the home’s hallways. Bromfield’s manager, editor and personal friend, George Hawkins lived on the second floor of the home. George disliked country life, so his room was built to resemble his favorite Chicago hotel room. But after a long run of fun and parties, deaths and departures forced an end. George’s death was the first blow to the family and Bromfield’s career. In 1952, Bromfield’s wife Mary passed away in her bedroom. Bromfield’s daughters left home to begin lives of their own and in 1956, Louis passed away.

Bromfield willed his entire property to the State of Ohio for use as an educational farm, and in August of 1972, the state accepted the deed. The house was left exactly how Bromfield had left it right down to the papers in his desk drawers. Stepping into the home was like stepping back in time. The Malabar Farm is definitely a great place to check out for anyone, including families. Tours are available as well as campgrounds, horse trails, hiking, fishing, picnicking and many other fun activities. Bromfield’s former home is reportedly haunted. Park employees working in the home late at night have reported lights mysteriously turning on by themselves, the piano playing on its own and uneasy feelings. The Central Ohio Paranormal Society invited the OES to investigate the home on the night of our visit. For a detailed analysis of our investigation, click here. To visit the Malabar Farm’s official website, click here.

Location Information: Public Park

Malabar Farm is located at 4050 Bromfield Road in Lucas; Richland County.

Photographs: Daytime


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