“Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?”
— James Thurber
The James Thurber House at 77 Jefferson Avenue in Columbus is the restored home of one of America’s favorite humor writers and cartoonists of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. His popularity resurged with the 2013 film entitled The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The original story was published in 1939 and has remained on school reading lists ever since.
Columbus is the capital city of Ohio and has approximately 880,000 residents. Thurber resided there since boyhood and attended Ohio State University. (Read about another Ohio State student, publisher Frederick G. Ruffner, Jr., at Literary Fort Lauderdale.)
According to the Thurber house website at thurberhouse.org: “Our programs include the Thurber Prize for American Humor, one of the highest recognitions of humor writing in the country; month-long residencies for writers of adult and children’s literature; author readings; writing classes for children and adults; and a museum of James Thurber memorabilia. Thurber House is a unique national treasure.”
It is thought that Thurber wrote The Night the Ghost Got In (1933), an amusing short story, about this house. Read it here: commonlit.org.
The James Thurber House is the fifth stop on our Ohio Trail!