Galion Historical Society offers ‘Mystery Whodunit’ outings

By Matt Echelberry

August 5, 2014

The caretaker of Brownella Cottage was found dead late last night. His body was moved to the carriage house. Six people were in the cottage at the time of the murder. Your job: To gather clues and figure out whodunit.

That’s right, the classic board game “Clue” has been re-imagined — Galion style.

The Galion Historical Society started hosting the parlour game earlier this summer as a fundraiser.

Marica Yunker and Penny and Alice Fox came up with the idea during a business after hours event held at the cottage last fall. They thought Brownella was an ideal location and got to work combining the classic game with real history.

First, participants of “Murder Mystery Clue” meet at Grace Episcopal Church, where they receive an introduction to the game. When they arrive at Brownella Cottage, the group gets a brief tour and meets with the six “suspects,” who are real people from Galion history. Each one shares a brief bio.

Participants then gather in the foyer, where the game is explained. Flashlights, clipboards and detective sheets are provided.

When the game starts, everyone is on their own, going from room to room searching for clues. One fills out the sheet to narrow down the suspect, weapon and room where the murder was committed. In addition, there are three hidden cards to find.

The first person to solve the mystery wins, but playing the game is a lot of fun. Just like the board game, the answer changes each time and no one knows until the big reveal at the end.

Fox explained that after their spin on the game was created, they did a trial run in June and tweaked it based on feedback from the players.

“I just joined the Society and all of this has been a lot of fun,” she commented.

They hosted two games on July 11, and 14 people turned up for the first time slot. Members of the Society were happy with the turnout.

During the July session, the suspects were: William Brown (Barry Moneysmith), Ella Brown (Cathy Moneysmith), Mary Scranton Bradford (Melinda Nicholls), Irene Scranton (Linda Hoover), Clara Manzer (Amber Wertman) and Dr. H.W. Todd (Kit Walter).

“We’re just really excited to do something on weekends for the community,” Yunker said. The best part for her is watching the quizzical looks on people’s faces as they try to figure it out. She added that while the characters’ stories were true, no murders were ever committed in the home once owned by Bishop William Montgomery Brown.

Brown, was an Anglican clergyman and author who lived in Galion. He is known in history to be the first Anglican Bishop to be tried for heresy since the Reformation, and the first of any creed in America to be deposed for heretical teachings.

There are plenty more mysteries to solve this year.

The Historical Society is hosting Murder Mystery Clue on Friday, Aug. 8. Other upcoming dates on Sept. 27 and Oct. 24 and 25.

Cost is $10 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the Society at (419) 468-9338 or emailing them at The game is open to all ages.