Take A Tour of Sorg Mansion The 1887 Ohio Castle That Cost 1 Million To Build
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
The Sorg Mansion is located at 206 South Main Street, Middletown, Ohio. Middletown's first millionaire, Paul John Sorg, built the $1 million mansion (Over $24,000,000 today!) in 1887 which is now part of Middletown's South Main Street District. The Ohio Historical Society says Sorg's "Romanesque castle," built in 1887, includes "a $100,000 addition added in 1902 that comprised of a north wing with a ballroom, a front porch and turrets, a large carriage house and an imposing stone and iron fence around the five-acre property."
Paul J. Sorg Background:
Paul John Sorg (September 23, 1840 – May 28, 1902) was a businessman and member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio.
He was born in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) on September 23, 1840. He attended public school. He was the youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth Sorg, immigrants from Hesse-Darmstadt (or Hesse-Kassel or Hesse-Cassel), Germany. Paul Sorg moved with his parents and siblings to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1852 where he was apprenticed as an iron molder. He attended night school in Cincinnati.
He served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
In 1864 Paul J. Sorg met John Auer, a German-born tobacco roller in Cincinnati. Auer could make tobacco, but he couldn't keep books; for his part, Sorg knew nothing about tobacco, but he was a good bookkeeper. These two men organized a firm for the manufacture of tobaccos, starting a plant in Cincinnati. In 1869 they partnered with another tobacco firm in Cincinnati. One of the new partners lived in Middletown, Ohio and urged the newly formed company, Wilson, Sorg and Company, to relocate there and a new plant was constructed.
Sorg and Auer soon sold their share of the business and immediately formed another company, P. J. Sorg Tobacco Co., to manufacture cut filler and plug tobacco. One of their brand names was "Biggest and Best." This new firm they built up to become one of the largest of its type in the world and Sorg became Middletown's first multi-millionaire.
The main house comprises of over 13,000 sq foot, with 35 rooms and each bedroom having it's own fireplace. The tiled vestibule opens to a large grand hall with the main staircase.
Grand Staircase when house was on the market - 2012 via OldHouseDreams.com
The Sorg Mansion was converted into apartments in the 1930's, and eventually was used as commercial space and steadily declined until hitting the market in 2012 for $500,000.
Dining Room of House in 1997
Stained Glass & A Bedroom
As of 2014, The property is currently undergoing renovations to be opened as an owner occupied Bed & Breakfast. In 2018 the home was open for one of the first times since the 1930's and attracted more than 1,000 guests. Since 2014, the slate roof has been restored, the stone has been cleaned, and many of the interior features have been restored.