Gerry Lou Paine, an 86-year-old lifelong resident of Avon Lake, has been the primary caretaker of the Peter Miller House Museum for more than 25 years. She preserves and shows the 1830 home built by Peter Miller, the son of Adam Miller, who settled the city. 
The quaint white house, which the Miller descendants sold to the city in 1962, sits right on the shore of Lake Erie along Lake Road. A matching white picket fence wraps all the way around the historical home. Relics and antiques, some of which are original and others that date back to the mid-19th century, fill the settlement for the public’s view. 
An 1885 E.P. Carpenter pump organ in the front parlor captures vistors’ attention as they enter the home. It’s in perfect condition, Paine says, and is played for tours during the summer. 
“People all stand around in those two front rooms and sing songs of the golden days,” she adds, citing “A Bicycle Built for Two” and “Come on Home to Me” as examples. 
One of the believed-to-be original items from the home is a spinning wheel that works by walking the wheel back and forth, almost like a bicycle. The wheel is thought to have been used to spin flax to make the curtains for the parlor. 
The keeping room, which also has a front entrance, contains furniture pieces made from walnut and chestnut trees, which once were abundant in Ohio but now are rare and expensive. There’s also an 1860 step back chestnut cupboard, a walnut fireplace and a beige velvet 1890 Victorian serpentine walnut couch. 
“They used to say that a squirrel could go from Lake Erie to Cincinnati on the tops of trees, it was so heavily forested [with walnut and chestnut],” Paine says. “And when the early settlers came, they cleared land for a farm because they had to immediately start to be able to raise enough food so they could get by during the cold winters.”