John H. Balsley’s home on East Sixth Street was purchased in late 2016 by Clive and Geeta Wilson, who since then have poured lots of time and money into making the 141-year-old property into an Airbnb gem that offers an upscale stay and experience
The price tag might provoke sticker shock, but the home has six bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, as well as numerous amenities and fixings that only those who pay top dollar can expect to receive.
This includes massage chairs, a sauna, mini-salon space, smart technology in the bathrooms, flat-screen TVs in many rooms and art and artifacts that reflect Balsley’s contributions and local history. The home has six beds: three kings and three queens.
The rooms are tastefully decorated with chandeliers and other lighting from Restoration Hardware. There's leather couches and colorful, modern seating. Funky artwork adorns some walls.
Two spiral staircases lead to the third floor of the home, which has a living room, with a very large flat-screen TV.
Airbnb options seldom cost as much, but there are rentals in popular tourist destinations that run far more per night, like a $10,075-per-night villa in Austin, Texas.
The Balsley house is a Dayton gem that is perfect for families who are in town for a special event like a wedding, Clive Wilson said.
Brides, grooms and other visitors will get a very unique lodging experience that maintains and celebrates Balsley’s legacy but also has upscale, modern comforts and features, he said.
The Wilsons purchased the home for $256,000. Clive Wilson declined to say how much they spent renovating the home.
But the investment is clearly considerable. Clive Wilson said he did most of the work himself.
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The bathrooms have all been redone to have a luxury or boutique hotel kind of feel.
Rooms have new furniture, shelving, wardrobes, lighting and wallpaper.
Flooring has been upgraded and walls have been painted. The kitchen has been remodeled and now contains a large granite-top island. There’s new cabinetry and appliances.
The kitchen has two sinks, two fridges, three microwaves, two dishwashers and a fancy coffeemaker.
Interesting pieces of history be found in all corners of the house, like two antique candy scales in the kitchen.
On the wall of a stairwell, there’s laser-etched hangings noting Balsley’s inventions, which included a tobacco drier, adjustable table leg and step ladder. Another wall contains a copy of Balsley’s patent.
The Wilsons also own two commercial buildings in the Oregon District, including the one that Balsley built at 424 E. Fifth St., which sits next to Blind Bob’s.
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They purchased the vacant, three-story building in 2015 and announced plans to overhaul the space for commercial uses. That project has yet to materialize, though the building will receive new windows and paint soon, Clive Wilson said.
Clive Wilson said the original announcement was premature, though they still plan to renovate and reuse the building.
But Clive Wilson said their next project is to renovate a building they bought last year at 803 E. Fifth St., which is across from Dublin Pub.
Wilson said they plan to open a fast casual restaurant on one side of the building and a “sweet treats” business on the other. He said a creative space featuring printing services would occupy a back area of the property.
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