October 27, 2020 – John Zimkus – Warren County Historical Society and Golden Lamb

Special Announcement

There is no meeting on Election Day 11/3/2020. The next meeting will be on Zoom on 11/10/2020 at noon.


Tom Novak, Avenue of flags, said that AOF will deliver over 2900 flags for Veterans Day. They need a lot more volunteers for both delivery and pickup. You do not have to commit to both tasks. This time of the year it gets dark early and this reduces the pool of available volunteers who can deliver while it is light outside. Please let Tom know if you can help.

Christy Gariety, Adopt-A-Family chair, announced that she is looking for another 15 participants for this holiday program. Contact her if you would like to participate this year. It is easier than ever to get involved; you just purchase gift cards for children in need.

Debe Dockins announced that there is still time to donate to the Optimist International Foundation’s Dime-a-Day program. This is the 50th anniversary of the OI Foundation.

Debe Dockins said the investigation into what it will take to resume in person meetings at Yankee Trace is being worked on.

John Zimkus, Warren County Historical Society and Golden Lamb

Debe Dockins introduced John Zimkus, a historian at the Warren County Historical Society. He has been with the Society since 1990 and he has been the house historian at the Golden Lamb for 12 years. COVID restrictions have meant that he has not worked at the Golden Lamb since March, 2020. Zimkus is a retired teacher who taught history in Lebanon for 35 years. He is a graduate of Centerville High School.

Mike and Terry Bevis invited him to speak to CNO after hearing him tell these stories at the Golden Lamb. He came today to share some ghost stories about the Golden Lamb restaurant in Lebanon, Ohio.

John said that ghost stories are very popular. Many people believe in an afterlife in heaven or hell. Part of the reason ghost stories are popular is that they seem believable because the stories have similarities to other beliefs you have, like an afterlife. Instead of a heaven off earth, spirits stick around where they existed in life. There are many more theories.

Books with Golden Lamb Ghost Stories

  • Ghost Hunters Guide to Haunted Ohio, by Chris Woodyard
  • Haunted Miami Valley, by Jennifer Eblin

Different Experiences of a Spirit

  • Seeing a ghost in human form
  • Strange things happening, like objects (such as chairs) moving on their own
  • Orbs or dots of lights flying around a room

People interested in Ghosts come to the Golden Lamb to

  • Hear Stories
  • Sense Ghosts
  • Talk to ghosts
  • Investigate paranormal activity

Paranormal Activity at the Golden Lamb

Zimkus said, “Some say the Golden Lamb is one of the most haunted places in Ohio.”

Almost all the paranormal stories about the Golden Lamb involve ghosts of a little girl or a gaunt looking man.

One of the stories about the little girl is that she is the ghost of Sarah Stubbs. Her grandfather bought the Golden Lamb in 1843. Documents tell us she got married in 1909. So, she can’t be the ghost of the Golden Lamb because she didn’t die as a little girl.

However, there is a theory called the imprint theory. If something traumatic happens in your lifetime your spirit can return at the age you were when the even occurred. Sarah Stubbs was 5 years old when her father died. Under that theory, she could be the little girl that haunts the Golden Lamb.

Zimkus said he likes hearing personal stories from people that claim experience with the ghosts of the Golden Lamb. The ones he does not care as much for are the ones that are obviously false because they get the history or other facts incorrect. One person told a story about an experience in the Bill Clinton room in the Golden Lamb. There is no Bill Clinton room, but there is, however, a George W. Bush room at the Inn. Stories that get facts wrong appear on the internet and once there the story never dies no matter how wrong it is.

Stories about the Little Girl

Full Length Fur Coat Lady

There was a woman wearing a rabbit fur coat at the Golden Lamb. Someone swears they saw a little girl petting the coat. Then the little girl suddenly disappears.

Dress Missing from Photo

There was a dress on the bed in one of the rooms. A woman took a picture with her digital camera. The photo shows the bed, but there is no dress on it.

Drunk Guy Trips

There was a couple that likes to stay at the Golden Lamb. During one of their stays, the man had way too much to drink. Upstairs the occupied guest rooms are blocked by a rope. Instead of removing the rope when going to his room, he decides to jump over the rope. He tripped before completing the task. The woman swears she could hear a little girl laughing at his mishap, only there is no little girl to be found.

Bored 6-year-old Boy

A family came to dine at the Golden Lamb and had a long wait to be seated. The 6-year-old boy asks while they wait if he can he go play with the little girl at the other side of the room. The parents could not see this girl. Supposedly, children have a much easier time seeing paranormal entities.

Who is the Ghost of the Gaunt Man?

Many people have died at the Golden Lamb, which means there are several possible men that are the ghost of the gaunt man. Zimkus mentioned two of the possibilities.

In 1829, Charles R. Sherman, an Ohio Supreme Court justice, died at the age of 41 at the Golden Lamb

In 1871, Clement Vallandigham, a renowned U.S. congressman from Ohio and criminal defense attorney, died at the age of 50 in the Golden Lamb. He accidentally shot himself in the abdomen with a pistol when trying to demonstrate that his client, Thomas McGehean, was innocent. He died the next day. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.

Study for Paranormal Activity at Golden Lamb

In 2008, the Cincinnati Ohio Paranormal group studied the Golden Lamb. They brought some fancy and sensitive equipment. Their equipment could record sound beyond the frequencies of human hearing. No one was staying at the Inn that day. When the recordings were played back, the first sound was a woman screaming. The group claimed they could hear someone saying, “Stop Them” and then, “Go away”. Zimkus was able to listen to this recording.

Fabricated Stories and Tricks

Joe Nickell, an investigator of the paranormal, travels around to disprove that places are haunted. When Nickell stayed at the Golden Lamb, the desk clerk admitted moving things around in rooms to scare the cleaning crews. 

There have been mystery messages on mirrors. This can be done with the oil on your fingers. When the mirror gets steamed by a shower, mystery messages appear.

Thank you

Thank you, John Zimkus, for entertaining us with stories of paranormal activities at the Golden Lamb. Definitely timely being the meeting right before Halloween!

New Member Readings and Inductions

No readings nor inductions this week.

Happy Bucks

Member Reason
Bob Vogt Happy to be at today’s meeting.
Myron Rheaume Thanks for the well wishes after his back surgery.
Myron Rheaume Nice showing of CNO members at the State conference in Columbus this past weekend.

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Charlie Goodwin October 28 10/28/2008 12
Jessica King October 28 10/28/2008 12
Karen Sirmans October 28 10/28/2008 12
Mike Brubaker October 28 10/28/2008 12


Member Birthday
Brent Richburg October 28
Shawn Thacker October 28
Bob Bargmeyer October 29
Suzanne Werts October 30
Cheryl Reichel November 1
Deb Saunders November 1
Wendy Hattan November 2

CNO Donations 2013 through September 2020

Click this link to see a summary of the donations our club has made.

Over 50 years, we have donated over $2,000,000 to our youth community. In the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $796,000.

Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week.

Welcome Guests!

No Guests this week.

Zoom Meeting This Week

We had another meeting using Zoom. We will continue our weekly meetings via computer, cell phone or tablet for at least the next several weeks. Please join us and keep inviting guests.

Who can Attend Zoom Meetings?

Any member of any type of Centerville Noon Optimist can attend Zoom meetings. CNO 2.0, St Leonard’s and CNO full members or CNO monthly members can ALL attend.

Guests are also welcome. Please invite guests and introduce them if you like. Just share the Zoom link with them for that week.


In keeping with social distancing requirements – our CNO Meetings have transitioned temporarily to a online format using ZOOM.

Club Member Joe Madden was inspired to rewrite The Optimist Creed – so we give you now – The Corona Creed -with apologies to Christian D. Larson, Author of The Optimist Creed.