It all started with one extraordinary couple by the names of Miller and Harriet Wilber. Their tragic, yet awe-inspiring lives would ignite the folk legend that persists today. It’s their story that imbues the Gore Orphanage site with an air of wonder and mysticism. Much of it, is misplaced. Many people today mistakenly believe this specific location was once the site of an orphanage. Many mistakenly believe it was burned to the ground by its dastardly owner named Gore, a caretaker turned arsonist and murderer. Many mistakenly believe that if you sit quietly at the spot where these orphans burned to death, that you’ll hear their cries for help.
Few know the genuine story. It’s been buried underneath more than a century of false myths.
Let’s reveal the truth of the legend of Gore Orphanage. In some ways, the actual details are more profound than any ghost tale.
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Rosedale, circa 1890. The stately mansion where the Wilber family was known to hold seances.
Undated photo of Rosedale mansion.
Grave marking the place where the four Wilber children were buried. Maple Grove Cemetery, Vermillion.
John and Katharina Sprunger. Director/Owner Light of Hope Orphanage which purchased the property in 1903.
The site as it looks today. Nothing remains of Rosedale but a few scattered stones from the foundation.
What remains of the hitching post which once stood outside the front entrance.