A Pet Monkey Made This Bellevue House Famous


271 Ward Avenue

Photograph by Steve Hurley

Built in 1888 by a dentist for his wife, this Bellevue home has been owned by the Chase family for the past 75 years. But the real reason locals know it so well is because of a monkey named Reb.

Turns out the grandfather of Dan Chase, the home’s current owner, worked for an express delivery service in the 1960s when he discovered an abandoned spider monkey in a box at CVG one day. He brought it home and his wife, whom Dan affectionately calls “Grandma Chase,” nursed it back to health. Not only did Reb become the family pet, he also went to work with Grandma Chase, a kindergarten teacher at Grandview Elementary School. Today, countless Bellevue natives know this house simply as the place “where the monkey used to live,” Dan says.

Photograph by Steve Hurley

That fun fact aside, the home has been lovingly cared for by Dan and his wife Leslie, who raised five children there over nearly 20 years. Today, it’s listed on the National Historic Register and features original stained glass windows, pocket doors, a likely Rookwood fireplace in the master bedroom, a chain-pull toilet in one bath, and gingerbread-clad wood porches with newly rebuilt floors. It’s also got two really unique features: a secret tunnel connecting bedrooms and a “playhouse” fitted with a bar, refrigerator, cable, and running water. Add in the monkey anecdote, and this house is the stuff of legends.

Facebook Comments