Gibbs Farmhouse

More From Saint Paul More From Minnesota

I’m very happy that our farmhouse is part of a museum, a place of learning!

Our family is all together again in our afterlives, still enjoying our farmhouse.

My lungs no longer hurt.


Tom and I visited the Gibbs Farm House Museum on our road trip in 2007. We took the tour of their house, and learned a lot about the Gibbs and life on a farm in the 19th century. We saw a sturdy, well built farm house, both the downstairs and upstairs.

Living on the Minnesota frontier wasn’t for everyone, but Jane Debow, who was kidnapped as a child by a missionary family from her home in New York, grew up in a mission near Fort Snelling on the shores of Lake Calhaun, which is present-day Minneapolis. She grew up with the Dakota Indians, learned their culture, language and ways. Eventually, her missionary family, the Stevens moved to Illinois, where Jane met the love of her life, Heman Gibbs, a man 14 years her senior, whom she married in 1847.

Heman Gibbs was a school teacher from Indiana, who had gone to Illinois to work in the mining field. It seems he was good at many things, and one of them turned out to be farming and running a business, though he cared deeply about the importance of education, and had a giving, generous nature, as did Jane.


About a year after Jane Debow married Heman Gibbs in 1848, they moved to the Minnesota frontier, and bought 160 acres from a Mexican War veteran for $1.25 per acre. Their land proved to be very fertile, located northwest of Saint Paul, not that far from where she grew up as a child. In fact, in 1849, Jane found the trail that her old friends the Dakota took on their northern migration, which crossed their farmland. Soon, she was reunited with her old friends, who would rest with the Gibbs every year for up to three weeks.

They began their married life living in a cozy log and sod cabin, during which they started a market garden, selling their produce in Saint Paul. The Gibbs grew potatoes, beets, turnips, sweet corn, carrots and summer fruits. After five years of farming, Heman could afford to build a larger log cabin, in 1854. By 1867, they had a booming business and five children; 2 boys and three girls. Ida, born in 1850, was rescued and adopted by the Gibbs in 1852, Abbie was born in 1855, Willie was born in 1858, Frank was born in 1862 and Lillie was born in 1865.

Heman built onto the log cabin, making additions in 1867, creating a much bigger farm house, with a second floor. A parlor to receive guests and a small room off the parlor were added onto the log cabin on the first floor, and four bedrooms in an upstairs addition were added. The guest room was the small room off the parlor. Upstairs, there was a boys room, a girl’s room, the parents room and a room for the school teacher, who taught the Gibbs children and the neighboring farm families, and eventually at the school which was built on land donated by the Gibbs.


By 1873, the Gibbs needed to hire outside help, to help in the farming, so they built a hired men’s room as another addition. Also added was a summer kitchen where Jane and her daughters would cook meals for the hired help and the Gibbs family as well.

Eventually, Jane was able to make contact with her family in New York, though her father had already died, never knowing what had happened to her.

Heman died in 1891, and Jane died in 1910. The farm was inherited by Abbie Gibbs and her family. In 1943, the farm was sold to the University of Minnesota. In 1949, the farm was taken over by the Ramsey County Historical Society. In 1949, the Gibbs Museum was opened to the public.

In 1966, the Stoen schoolhouse was moved to the Gibbs Museum land.



Spirits of children who die unexpectedly because of illness, disease or accidents, sometimes choose to spend their afterlife in places where they have found love and acceptance.

Bee Bennett Mansion, CA (The spirit of a three to four-year-old boy named Marcus died when he fell down the stairs and broke his neck. He is still a ball of fire, running around and causing mischief in his family home, always a place of love and acceptance).

Waverley Plantation House, MS (Two little girls died here. One succumbed to a disease, while the other one died after tumbling down the very steep central staircase. Her spirit still enjoys playing there, in a house she loved).

Shanley Hotel, NY (The spirit of a little girl, who drowned in the hotel well, likes to play in this special place where her father was employed as the hotel barber).

Gibbs House Museum, MN (Jane and Heman Gibbs suffered a tragedy in 1867, sometime after the new additions to their home were made. Their third child, William, died of smoke-inhalation at the age of nine, after helping to beat back the threatening grass fire).


When a historical house is restored, spirits of families sometimes like to visit or reside, especially if the spirits of the children in the family choose to stay. They like to be near the spirit child or children who have died so young.

Duff Green Mansion, MS (All three of the Green children died tragically before their time, and their spirits reside in the family’s dream home. The spirits of Mary and Duff, wanting more time with their children, are also residing here).

McRaven House Museum, MS (With the spirits of five of the Murray children staying, the spirits of Mr. and Mrs. Murray also want to stay at the family home, to be near their children: two little sons, one grown son, and their daughters Ella and Annie).

The Meritt Farmhouse, AZ (Over the years, the Merritt clan may have lost young family members, and now find comfort staying here with the spirits of the children).

Gibbs House Museum, MN (The spirit of William has chosen to stay in the family home. The spirits of his parents and perhaps his siblings keep him company).



Auditory and Visual Signs of Unseen Presences

Doors and cupboards open and close by themselves, without any help by the living.

The house’s rocking chair likes to rock on its own power.

Footsteps have been heard in the hallway behind the kitchen, which proceeded up the stairs to the second floor.

When investigated, no one living has been seen.

Working through Restlessness

Sensitive people feel a tenseness in the atmosphere in various areas of the house.

Spirits here may be looking for peace from unresolved emotions or feelings, while they stay near the spirit of William.

The Spirit of William

Described as being a nine-year-old boy, dressed in farm clothing.

Children’s toys which are on display for tours in the upstairs rooms, are always locked away during the evening hours.

Sometimes they are found the next morning out of their locked closet and laying around the boys room, as if someone were playing with them.

William’s Personal Appearances

The entity of a young boy has been spotted by the living in the house.

A patrolman checking out the grounds one evening saw the face of a boy peering at him out a second-story bedroom window.

A tour guide was sitting on the porch, waiting for the next tour to start, when she glanced in the window to see a boy standing there, looking at her. He disappeared into thin air before her eyes.


Both staff and visitors have observed the paranormal activity, and actually have been able to pick up on the feelings of one of the spirits, as well as witnessing William’s spirit, as he amuses himself with the toys in the playroom, and watches living people for fun.

Paranormal investigators are discouraged because this is a house museum, and the spirits who reside don’t need to be bothered by annoying ghost hunters.



Apparently so. After the museum closes, the spirits have their forever farmhouse to themselves, though they are willing to share it with the living.



2097 Larpenteur Ave. W.,
Saint Paul, MN 55113-5313

The Gibbs House Museum and farm are located around 8.92 miles, 14 minutes from down town Saint Paul, on Larpenteur Ave W., just west of Cleveland Ave. N.




Great Episodes: The Lost Gibbs House Unearthed





  • Visitor’s Guide to the Gibbs Museum – Ramsey County Historical Society
  • The Minnesota Road guide to Haunted Locations
    by Chad Lewis & Terry Fisk
    pages 222-227
    Unexplained Research Publishing Company

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel

Haunts in Saint Paul Haunts in Minnesota