What Will Happen to Bertie Hall?

With a lack of funding and support the entire collection of doll houses and dolls were auctioned off this year and the home known as Bertie Hall has an uncertain future.

Today, the historical house remains empty.

Since 2001, when I first visited, the house has been a subject of great interest to paranormal investigators. Prior to my visit, the curator had several psychics do readings on the home. All the psychics and investigators came to the same conclusion - Bertie Hall is haunted.

To me, it was one of the most interesting haunted locations I have investigated and I have returned often to conduct investigations and research.

But what will become of Bertie Hall? Who will the city lease it too and will future paranormal investigators be welcomed?

Here is an article from the Niagara Falls Review:

Doll houses on auction block

Historic Bertie Hall won't sit vacant for long, predicts Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin.

"We look forward to getting a new tenant in there -- one that's in keeping with our heritage," Martin said Sunday. "I'm sure there will be lots of people who will be willing to take over the building. We'll be going through a process starting immediately so we can have it up and running for the first of the year."

Since 1983, Bertie Hall has been home to the Mildred M. Mahoney Dolls' House Gallery.

The gallery, which was home to one of the largest and finest collections of antique miniatures in the world, once attracted 4,000 people a year.

But the gallery fell on hard times in recent years and was forced to close.

On Saturday, contents of the gallery were auctioned off with proceeds to be distributed to charity in keeping with the provisions of the late Mildred Mahoney's will.

Hundreds of items were up for grabs, including some pieces that are more than 200 years old.

The oldest doll house in the museum dates back to 1780 and was owned by six generations of the same family.

Total proceeds raised through auction haven't been tallied yet, but auctioneer Don Plato said he was pleased with how the sale went.

"For a niche market sale it was good," said Plato.

Buyers who came in person for the sale travelled from as far away as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

"We had (absentee) bids from California, Maine and Florida over the phone," said Plato.

The highest selling item was a doll house that sold for a cool $11,000.

"It brought more than I thought it would, but then there were some that I thought would bring more that brought less," Plato said Sunday evening. "Now, I have to deliver it to Massachusetts," he added with a chuckle.

Martin himself couldn't resist the urge to pop by the sale for a little while to see how things were going.

"It looked to be a good crowd," said Martin.

"It was a beautiful day for it. I don't know what the end results will be, but it'll be interesting to see what took place. There were some priceless pieces on display there."

Bertie Hall was built in the Greek revival style in 1835.

The property has been owned by the Niagara Parks Commission since 1981.

The Town of Fort Erie leases the building for a nominal sum.

Originally a residence, Bertie Hall was an important stop on the Underground Railway, which helped fugitive slaves from the U.S. make their way to freedom.

From 1828 to 1865, it is believed there was a tunnel located in the basement that served as a main entry point for freedom seekers.

"Since this all happened, I've had preliminary discussions with individuals who are interested in doing some things there. We'll go through the process and see what the proposals are to ensure the fact that from the black history aspect it's important to include that with it as well."



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About This Blog

Out of the Dark: The Ghost Hunting Chronicles is a blog providing detailed investigations of the Out of the Dark team, paranormal news and editorial.

It will also feature the past investigations of paranormal investigator and author John Savoie.