Set on historic NYS Route 26 in Georgetown, New York, is one of the most unusual houses in Central New York. The house is called the Spirit House by its New York State Historic Sign because its builder Timothy Brown, claimed that "The Spirits" had given him the directions on how to build and decorate it.
Timothy Brown was a business man who actually came from Vermont, he purchased and sold land, including another house only a short distance away on Route 26. This unusual house with its unique decorations is called the house with "Red Balls" today, though in his day they were green.
Brown's Free Hall was built in part as a place for Spiritualists to meet and in part perhaps to be used as a community gathering place. Over the years it did much more than that. The location was used for town meetings, plays, a large courtroom for important trials, and for functions.
The front was carved with intricate designs that Smith claimed the "Spirits" guided him to make and with its fancy decoration above and below it seemed to the locals to look like a wedding cake. A one time an addition made from a church was added to it to give it additional space, a sure sign of the success of Smith's venture.
After a number of owners who converted it to a house and then the removal of the addition, it has fallen vacant when much damage occurred to the interior because of water damage. The exterior however is still a marvel of fanciful woodwork and is for the viewer a trip into a fairytale world marked by seances, rapping's and all the trappings of the days gone bye. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nearby is the Georgetown Historical Society's Museum where you can find more information out on Brown's Free Hall. This location is also only a short hop on Route 26 to South Otselic, the Gladding Fishing Museum, and the burial spot of Grace Brown of the "American Tragedy" fame!