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Sarah Jordan Boarding House

Sarah Jordan Boarding House paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 08/03/2017
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 1942

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The former boarding house of Sara Jordan that was once housed at Edison's Menlo Park Complex.

Christie St
Dearborn , MI 48124
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 42.3046755
Lon: -83.2252866

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 5
History: 2
Stories: 1
Claims: 2
Evidence: 0
Resources: 0
Retrievals: 7557
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

This house, built in 1870, originally stood near the laboratory where Thomas Edison and his men toiled in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Widowed in 1877, "Aunt Sally," as Sarah was known, lived in Newark, and was sent for in 1878 by her distant relative, Thomas Edison, to run a place for his workers to eat and sleep. With little employment opportunities for women, Mrs. Jordan accepted the offer and opened the home as a boarding house that same year.

Several of Edison's single employees lived here and would sleep two to three to a bed in the six rooms on the second floor. In fact, at the height of the laboratory's activities in 1880, sixteen boarders called this structure 'home.'

While her boarders slept upstairs, Sarah, her daughter, Ida, and a domestic servant named Kate Williams slept in bedrooms on the main floor. There was a sitting room for the men as well, separate from the women, where they could play cards, smoke, maybe have a drink, and enjoy conversation that sometimes could've been objectionable for feminine ears.

Mrs. Jordan also made extra money by opening up a portion of this house as a lunch room, feeding hungry travelers who happened by. Of course, they would eat on the boarder side of the house, except when there were a great many that showed.

One can just imagine the bustling of activity that took place here; cooking, cleaning, washing, and mending endlessly, for Mrs. Jordan cleaned up after these Edison workers besides cooking their meals.

This house has the distinction of being one of the first (if not the first) home in the world to be lighted by Edison's newly perfected electrical system and incandescent light bulb. This took place on December 31st, 1879; after years of work and thousands of experiments, Edison finally was able to give the first public demonstration of the incandescent light bulb.

When it was brought to Greenfield Village with the other Edison buildings in 1929. Mrs. Jordan's boarding house was placed in the Village in the same proximity as to where it originally stood with the buildings in which Edison worked. Sarah's daughter, Ida Jordan Day, donated (or sold to Mr. Ford) many original furnishings and pieces that belonged to the Jordan family. She also arranged the pieces in the way she remembered them as a teenager back in Menlo Park.

Added by: sdonley on 08/01/2019 DB#:470

The Menlo Park complex was an all-male environment; the closest workaday involvement of women -- not forgetting that Edison and several of his personnel were married -- was at the Sarah Jordan boardinghouse. Offering room and board for unmarried employees at the complex, it was operated by Sarah Jordan, a distant relative of Edison's. The house also played host to the experimental lighting system installed throughout Menlo Park in December 1879.

Added by: sdonley on 07/31/2019 DB#:469


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

"My story deals with the Boarding House. it was late in the day and I was getting ready to lock up for the night when I heard the mantel clock chime on Sara's Jordan's side of the home. The clock rests on the fireplace more for decoration because it doesn't work. I didn't think much of the chiming so I locked up the house - at that time we had to lock and unlock both the Burbank office and the Ft. Myers lab. As I was coming back from taking care of that, something caught my eye on the third floor window of the duplex, which is locked and off limits. A man with a dark beard, white shirt, and red suspenders was staring down at me.

Then he faded away. I went back into the house thinking it was a visitor but the door to the 3rd floor was locked and I didn't have a key."

Added by: sdonley on 08/01/2019 DB#:1464

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
2960 08/01/2019 sdonley The clock that does not work in Sara Jordan's side of the home has been known to chime on its own.
2961 08/01/2019 sdonley The apparition of a man with a dark beard, white shirts, and red suspenders has been seen looking out of one of the top windows.

Paranormal Evidence

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