The house at Eden Gardens State Park was built with native yellow pine by William H. Wesley for his wife Katie between 1895 and 1897. It was almost identical to the nearby home of Katie’s parents, Simeon and Louisa Strickland.
William Wesley died in 1947, and Katie died in 1953. The house sat vacant after Katie’s death and deteriorated until it was sold for $12,500 in 1963 to Lois Maxon (left, circa 1938) an heiress and writer. It is believed she spent a million dollars over five years renovating the house, furnishing it with antiques, and designing the gardens. She renamed the house “Eden.”
Lois Maxon was active in the community and served as president of the Magnolia Garden Club in 1964. However, failing health necessitated a move to Pensacola, so she donated the house and grounds to the State of Florida in 1968 as a gift in memory of her parents, Harry Russell Maxon (1883-1960) and Lois Adelheide Gustava Margarethe von Purucker Maxon (1885-1960). Lois Maxon died in Pensacola on April 23, 1982.
Obituary: The Muncie (Indiana) Star, April 25, 1982, Page 29
Burial: Mound Hill Cemetery, Gallipolis, Ohio