Under the auspices of the Ohio Historical Society, this building serves as the state's first memorial to a composer..
This mid-19th-century home was owned by Benjamin Hanby, an abolitionist, teacher, minister and composer of 80 or so songs, who died at age 33 in 1867. One of his songs, "Up on the Housetop," remains a children's Christmas classic, and "Darling Nelly Gray" stoked abolitionist fervor in the late 1850s. Hanby based this well-known song on the true story of Joseph Selby, a runaway slave who died in 1842 while trying to reach Canada in hopes of making enough money to buy his sweetheart and fellow slave, Nelly Gray.
Hanby House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains many pieces of Hanby's furniture and personal items, including his rosewood Hazelton Square piano and the original plates for the composition of "Darling Nelly Gray." The house also served as a stop on Ohio's Underground Railroad.
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