March 2, 2010

The Myrtles Plantation

Our final stop on our Old South tour was The Myrtles Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.    I had seen The Myrtles featured on A&E, The History Channel and The Travel Channel and billed as “One of America’s Most Haunted Homes.”     

Here’s a little history of The Myrtles from their website:

The Myrtles Plantation, circa 1796, invites you to step into the past to experience antebellum splendor.   You will see the antiques and architectural treasures of the South and discover why The Myrtles had been called one of America’s Most Haunted Homes”

The history of the South will always provide us with tales of romance and mystery.    The saga of the Antebellum South and a lifestyle that will never be forgotten lives on at this grand mansion.   A first glimpse of the mansion with its magnificent double dormers and lacy grillwork of the 120 foot veranda envelopes one with a complete sense of peace and tranquility.”

You can Goggle “The Myrtles” and find a lot of history as well as debates on the authenticity of ghosts.    I didn’t go expending to see any ghosts nor did I see any but the grounds and home are spectacular and there is a feeling of spookiness there.    

The most famous ghost story told about The Myrtles is told in the following story:

General Bradford (builder of The Myrtles) had a fourteen-year-old daughter, who married Judge Clarke Woodruff. During his days as master of The Myrtles, Woodruff took one of the plantation slaves named "Chloe" as a mistress. He moved her up to the house to make their arrangement more convenient, under the guise of having her care for the Woodruff children. Chloe took advantage of this situation, however. To gain power, she began to eavesdrop on the conversations of Judge Woodruff and his guests. Although he warned her against this practice many times, she was caught on one occasion when the Judge had several influential friends in the gentlemen’s parlor. He had to punish her to save face, so he had her left ear cut off, and she was banned from the main house and returned to more harsh work elsewhere on the plantation. From that point on, she wore a handkerchief wrapped around her head to hide the defect.

Chloe reportedly longed for the comfortable work caring for the kids, and soon hatched a plan to return her to the former position. Woodruff’s nine-year-old daughter was having a birthday party, and Chloe volunteered to make the cake... but she laced the cake with a potion brewed from Oleander leaves. Her plan was that when the children got sick, she would treat them with an herbal cure and appear to have miraculously cured them. She must have misjudged the dosage, though, because two of the children and Mrs. Woodruff died from eating the poisoned cake.

The Judge had been away, so he returned home to find that he was a widower. As the slaves were questioned, those who knew about Chloe’s dark plan turned on her. When Judge Woodruff learned what had happened, Chloe was hung from one of the plantation trees. When she was dead, her body was cut down, her pockets and clothes stuffed with rocks, and her body dropped into the river.

Not long after that, stories of Chloe’s presence in the house began to circulate among the staff and family. Today, the housekeepers lock the house up at night, only to return the next morning to find chairs in the parlor rearranged, and other furniture moved out of place. During tours, as ladies pass through the doorway to the gentleman’s parlor where Chloe was caught eavesdropping, an earring is sometimes snatched by an unseen hand. The staff regularly finds earrings in the oddest places, and write it off to the fact that Chloe loves earrings, but only needs to take one, since she only has one ear.   (source:  ghostinmysuitcase.com)

CHLOE at the myrtles pic

The picture above depicts an actual photo taken by a visitor to the home….look closely at the area where the two porches join (partially hidden by the column) and there appears to be a figure with a turban….this is supposedly Chloe…

…And my photo (below) of the same area

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Come along with us (if you dare!) to see this famous plantation…..

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The gates invite you to step back in time to another era

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  The house is surrounded by large oak trees

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This mirror was the only thing you could photograph in the house.    It is one of three mirrors original to the home.     The glass has been replaced but according to the guide, the same streaks, hand marks and sometimes “objects” continue to appear in the replaced glass….

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The only thing I saw was this Auburn fan (a/k/a my husband!)

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  Back veranda that invites you to sit and rock to pass the time.   

Do you know the difference between a porch and a veranda?      A porch is where you sit and enjoy a  cup of coffee; a veranda is where you go to sip on a mint julep and if you have neither, it’s a shame!   (Lame joke, but it’s one a darling 83 year old guide told us on one of our tours!)

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    Coming around from the side of the house to the front

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The caretaker’s cottage is for rent

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According to some stories, a little girl’s face has been seen in this upstairs window

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Whether Myrtles Plantation is haunted or not, it still has a long and interesting story to tell, all on its own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a small glimpse of our Old South tour.     I haven’t shared 1/2 of the pictures I took but I think you get the idea.     I may share more pictures another time.

I’ve come down with a cold/flu this weekend so I’ve been resting a lot.    Can’t wait for Spring to arrive here in Alabama but I think all of us are in for a few more weeks of old man winter.

Have a great week!

8 comments:

Southern Lady said...

Loved this post, Judy. I've never been to The Myrtles, even though I was born and raised in Louisiana (Monroe). Thank you for sharing it with us.

I hope you feel better soon. I hear the next few days are going to bring "abundant sunshine" our way!

Take care ...

Janie

julie & joe said...

I love the Myrtles. We have orbs traveling up the stairs in our photo of the mirror. My husband also felt the ghost cat going around his ankle in the dinning room and someone tapped him on the shoulder in the front bedroom. He gets to have all the fun!

Jacki said...

I really enjoyed that. Have seen the Myrtles Plantation on tv, given its haunting and mysterious stories. We're touring the South this summer; may have to include the Myrtles!

Lee Laurie said...

I've never been there but have wanted to go for years. Maybe this summer I will. Thanks for the tour.

Lisa @ Another Day Today said...

I saw an episode of "Ghost Hunters" a few years ago featuring The Myrtles Plantation. The staff was so gracious and welcoming. I would love to visit someday.

Thanks for sharing your photos :)

Teresa David said...

Thank you so much for taking time to visit The Myrtles. We hope you come back and stay the night in the near future! -Myrtles Staff

eddieross said...

The mirror and wallpaper are gorgeous! So beautiful! Wish we had that in our entry hall!

Eddie + Jaithan

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for taking us along for the tour. Hope you are feeling better.

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