Was that Walter?

was that Walter?

d n english

here is one of the many ghost stories of the area around the Hatchie River

The ghost story of the ferry at Hatchie bottom and the drowning

d n english

here is a little know Haywood Co fact:

KOKO: Located about on Highway 76 about 3 miles south of Hatchie River. It’sproximity to Lowery’s Landing at the river made it a busy area in earlier days.

Some say Koko was named for a popular brand of chewing gum.

As people were leaving Brownsville to cross the Hatchie River to go to Somerville the only way to cross was by Ferry. The Ferry was a flat bottom boat with two oarsman. Some time they would have mules on each side of the river with robes attached to pull the ferry across.

On this one day the ferry had a small wagon full of goods heading from a Brownsville merchant to one of the farms 2 miles from the river . The driver of the wagon was Walter he had worked at the mercantile delivering all around Haywood Co. for years. Walter was a beloved character around Brownsville and Haywood Co. When fall came around he would put on his Beaver hat and cowhide coat. The other thing he was known for was his crazy snorting laugh he just made people smile.

When he delivered across the river he would spend the night and return the next day . He would always tell people he was happiest around the Hatchie River and with the people of the bottoms.

One of Walter’s habits was when he got on the ferry he would unhook the horse from the wagon. He would always say if the water got rough the horse could swim. On this afternoon it was said there was an erie sound and all of sudden the water became disturbed and the wagon was flipped off the ferry. The horse swam back to the shore and headed back to Brownsville . The ferrymen were still on the rocking ferry but nobody could find Walter. They got back to shore and for some reason the wagon had been pushed on shore. Then the search began soon they were joined by men of the community.

The horse turned back up in Brownsville about the time the word reached the town about the incident. Several of the town’s men headed to the river to help look for Walter. They searched for hours finally they were able to find his hat and his coat but that was all. They went into the woods looking for signs of Walter but when they came back to retrieve the coat and hat they were gone.

Nobody had any idea why the water had acted so weird. Then the story got out it was an evil spirit in the river, the truth was Haywood Co had experienced an earthquake.

They finally gave up on finding Walter and held his funeral.

A month after the accident the sighting began . It was reported fisherman would hear Walter’s laugh and see him walking along the river bank. For the years that the ferry was in operation a ferryman would report they felt his presence on the boat. After the bridge was constructed the sightings did not stop. Even now it has been reported a fisherman would see a man walking the banks. They would go to wave but he would be seen walking toward a big tree then disappear. Then the hunters would tell stories of seeing a man walking and hear his strange laugh. They could not help but smile. When the hunters looked up the man would be walking into a tree disappearing and a face would appear in the bark of the tree. When the lumbermen came for some reason they would never touch that tree. The tree continued to grow but the face stayed put not moving.

Many say as they approached the tree they see a smiling face in the bark of tree. The story has been passed down and many have heard the laugh and visited the tree and smiled. Walter is still walking the banks of the Hatchie and then disappearing into his tree. He is happy at his home in Hatchie Bottom

The story of the Sand Dunes

d n english

Can you hear the drums?

Sitting on the top of the sand dunes above the Hatchie River the boys could hear the drums. The year was 1918 and the story was started.  

For years it had been said if you visited the sand dunes off the Somerville Highway in the fall you would hear the drums of the hunting parties. 

Several Indian tribes used the Hatchie Bottoms as hunting grounds for years recorded as early as the 13th century.They would set up hunting camps along the River and hunt during early morning. The lands were full of deer, Buffalo, bear and other animals good for food and hides to trade.  They  would celebrate their hunts while processing the meat and tanning the hides. While they did this they would sound the drums,play the flute and sing.

The white man were not a problem the ones they did deal with   were traders and explorers. No threat…

As time passed the Indians lost their hunting ground to the white man. The hunting parties were gone but the spirits  of the elders stayed around.  It was also said the lands of the Bottoms had a few burial mounds. That contained the remains of ones who passed while on the hunting journey.

Sitting on the top of the sand dunes above the Hatchie River the boys could hear the drums. The year was 1918 and the story was started.

The boys had heard about the sounds and the phantom fires that were said to dot the landscape. 

Peter,John Paul, and Mason trusted Peter’s father so they told him their plans. He just smiled since his wife and daughters were visiting her sister in Brownsville he helped them pack some food,  a shovel  , a small lantern and quilts. Off they were to the Dunes. They set up their camp ,dug a pit for a fire, spread their quilt out.

Before  sunset the music and singing could be heard  . As dark fell they saw the fires then it happened out of nowhere a shadow appeared on the edge of the woods.

The  moon was full there were no shadows  then the arrow landed just a few feet away and a wild scream was heard.

The boys took off Peter put out the fire and caught up with John Paul and Mason  running all the way home. They opened the window to Peter’s room. The father had sat up because he knew they would be home before the night was over. He looked in Peter’s room and could see the shapes of the 3 boys under the cover . The father got up early and made breakfast  the boys appeared after cleaning up. Soon they were telling their story.  He did not doubt them he hooked up the small wagon and took  them to where they had camped to pick up their stuff . Sure enough there was the remainder of the food they had brought and evidence where their camp fire had been . Where they said the  arrow had been were 3 arrow heads and a large rabbit foot that looked like  it had just been cut off a rather large rabbit.

The father gathered up the objects and told the boys not to say anything to anyone.

Yea sure , the story was passed down at many a campfire.

Are the spirits still there ? Can you still hear the drums?



dn english

Let’s go back in time when the Chickasaw Indians were using the Hatchie Bottoms as their hunting and summer camping grounds.

In the 1600’s before the settlers came to West Tennessee this area was rich in wildlife. For example there were bears, wildcats, deer just to  name a few. We know this for a fact because of the diaries of the fur traders that traveled the area to buy the hides from the various tribes. Another little known fact is there are several Indian mounds scattered across the area around the Hatchie Bottoms on the Madison County side as well as the Haywood County side.

Back to the spirits of Hatchie Station some of the earliest stories are of the drums and mysterious camp fires,

Mr Charlie Luke told me the story about on more than one occasion since he had been living on the bank of the river he would hear  the drums. He said he would close his eyes imaging the campsite where the men of the tribe were  butchering their daily harvest of game. While the men did this the women would be cooking and preparing to cure the meat. The spirits of these hunters still can  be felt as you watch the river flow past under the old bridge. 

 Time passes soon come the settlers and gone are the Indians. Now the flat bottom boats and wagons  loaded with families and their dreams of making a home. There was also sorry many young children and elderly died on the journey. Around this area there were grave sites. Some of the spirts wander the area wondering where they are and where are their families.

Next came the ferry that connected Haywood Co to Madison Co and the steamboats that navigated the Hatchie river carrying goods and passengers. At Hatchie Station there was a “turnaround” for the big boats. The spirits from this era are the two young children that fell off the ferry and drown. They have been seen playing in the river or running around the banks playing tag and laughing. 

Then there was the gambler that got thrown off a riverboat for cheating. It was said he got thrown off the boat about a 1/3 mile down from Hatchie Station.  His body was found  on the Haywood Co side he can be seen pacing and heard cursing when there is a full moon..

These are just some of the spirits that float around Hatchie Station but you have to remember ghosts let special people to see them.

Have you ever felt or seen a ghost?


I was asked to send this story out before I tell you about the ghost and spirits of the bridge…

Original story appeared in Downtown Wanderings Memories and More. d n english 2006


d n english 

In 1928 the State of Tennessee contracted to build a steel bridge across the Hatchie River at Hatchie Station. This bridge replace the ferry that once connected Madison Co. to Haywood Co close to the Hillville Community.

The bridge was a steel frame with a wood plank floor by early 1930 the bridge was open to all traffic.

It made the trip from Jackson to Memphis easier.

Then came Highway 138 the bridge was in disrepair and the road in Haywood Co. was not maintain since they had  alternate route( Highway 70) to Jackson.

Mr. Charlie Luke told me he and his wife were the last car to cross the bridge. He would get out and moved boards to be able to cross the bridge to reach his home at Hatchie Station.

Then on the morning of Feb. 26, 1946 a neighbor lady went into labor. The men of the community got together and removed the remaining boards off the bridge to fill in a low part of 138 so her husband to get the hospital in Jackson. 

This good deed was the death toll for the bridge. The state did not want to rebuild the bridge since they now had “good” highways. Since Haywood Co actually owned the bridge they had no interest rebuilding the bridge or maintain the roads in the Hatchie Bottoms. Mr. Charlie laughed “that my dear is why I call it the bridge that goes nowhere.”

Mr. Luke gave me the telephone number of the Mullen family. Mrs Mullen was the lady that  was in labor that day.

I called and Bill Mullen answered the phone and I told him the reason for calling. He started laughing and then  informed me his mother at age 96 was still with us.

“But I can tell you about this since it is a part of my history.” He said .

He went on to tell me he was that bundle of joy that came into the world that day. “So believe me the neighbors and my family have told me this story.”We talked for about an hour with him telling what it was like to grow up in his community. 

Now the frame of the bridge just stands there feeling the Hatchie flowing underneath it’s empty floor.

Let’s do imagine this- imagine the bridge being brought back to life. The frame checked out and repaired then the floor being replaced. On the Haywood County side repair the road to the bridge making it a walking and bike trail.

Then at the bridge create a picnic area  continuing on  the trail to Estanaula Landing. Can you imagine what it would be like to experience the true beauty of the Hatchie River Bottom.


Photo Dr Danny Winbush 2006


dn english

Let’s take a Fall road trip.

dn english

Fall is such a special time of year the brisk air, the beautiful colors and just the winding down of the year. There are so many special places to visit inside Madison County.

If you have not had the chance to visit Denmark, Tn now would be the perfect time to visit.  This area is the home of the historical Denmark  Presbyterian  Church and the cemetery located down the lane beside the church.

This church is also the home of the ghost choir now they have Mr. Billy King visiting to play the organ. Now before you start shaking your head let me tell you a story.

The Denmark Presbyterian Church has seen the men and women of the community go off to war since the Civil War. Reading the historic marker on the lawn of the church you find out some of the history.

This church, built by slaves in 1854, played a significant role in Madison County’s Civil War experiences. In April 1861, days after the firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 104 local men formed a company called The Danes, later part of the 6th Tennessee Infantry (CSA). The community gathered here at the church to watch the new soldiers muster before they left for Camp Beauregard in nearby Jackson. At the ceremony, Emma Cobb presented a silk flag with the company’s name to Capt. John Ingram.

On the eve of the Battle of Britton Lane on August 31, 1862, the 20th and 30th Illinois Infantry Regiments commanded by Col. Elias S. Dennis camped in a grove of mulberry trees near the church. After the battle, Confederate Gen. Frank C. Armstrong’s cavalry brigade spent the night in Denmark on its return south. The Confederates kept their prisoners on the church’s second floor, which was a Masonic Lodge. Inscriptions believed to have been written by these Federal soldiers can still be seen along the bottoms of the walls.”

 Now with that bit of history out of the way let me tell you about the ghosts.

For years people have been reporting as the pass the Church at night if they slowed down as they pass music could be heard. When the members of the

 Big Black Creek Historical Association started restoring the church even durning the construction the music could be heard.

As the church came back to life more stories surfaced mysterious lights , singing and people talking. The upstairs now back to a Masonic lodge before they restored it if you went up the stairs you could feel a presence. 

But let’s talk about the sanctuary and the choir Mr Billy King was the leader in overseeing the construction and making sure everything was historically  accurate. Soon an organ and piano were positioned up front. Now true you could go by and Mr. Billy would be playing the old fashion “church” music. 

But long after he had left the church you could here the choir and see the mystery lights still can. Since Mr Billy’s death it has been said you can hear him playing the organ for the choir and I bet “ Miss Judy” is sitting on the first pew.

Down the lane beside the church you can find the cemetery one of the first that Mr. Billy oversaw the clean up and restoration. This cemetery was one of first  sites of a fund raiser for  Big Black Creek Historical Association. Members of the community would dress in period pieces and tell the stories of the citizens buried in this cemetery. While they did that I would be sitting by the church telling history and ghost stories. 

As they were cleaning up after the fund raiser different people would see lights coming from the back corner of the cemetery. Some of the men went to check it out.  No one there. One of the older men of the community was sitting by me on the trailer they had used to take people back to the cemetery.

“Honey, them men are not going find anyone.” He laughed “that’s just some young man attempting to find his way home after being buried in the unknown grave. I live down the road I been seeing that light at night for as long as I can remember.”

 As far as I know that light can still be seen.

Why don’t you take time and visit the Denmark area while you are in the area check out the Mercer neighborhood . If you are there enjoy a meal at Papa Daddy’s check out their Facebook page for hours of operation and menu.

Afternoon with Pop

Afternoon with Pop

d n english

It was a beautiful fall afternoon Pop ( Grandfather English) and I had the afternoon off from the family store. Being off meant we had a list of things to do for Grandmother around the farm. This particular afternoon list included gathering blackberries and muscadines for jelly and cobblers.

The fun part was we got to saddle the horses and explore the farm as we gathered the berries. Thinking back over that time I was maybe 10 years old but I remember this time with Pop was special because I  always learned a life lesson.

So come along with me as we gather berries, learn life lessons and a bit of Haywood County history.

The afternoon was beautiful the leaves had started to change and fall was in the air. Pop and I had gotten our orders and yes Grandmother had given us a time limited. As we headed off I glanced back as Grandmother stood there waving and laughing. She knew when Pop and I took off on the horses giving us a time limited was wasted breath. The one thing she knew we would be back for supper.

The first stop was the blackberry vines located at the edge of one of the cotton fields. This field had been picked over once as they picked someone would always clean the area around the blackberries vines. The reason was to make it safer to pick the berries because sneaky snakes liked to hide in the undergrowth.

 The horses were use to this routine so they stayed close it did not take long to fill up our buckets. Pop combined our buckets in a special pouch. 

As we headed over to the old cemetery where the muscadine vines grew in the trees Pop started his story.

“You know where we are riding now use to be a wooded area with just a small dirt trail. Before the settlers came  the Chickasaw used this area as a hunting  ground . Close your eyes and imagine this area rich with rabbits, squirrels, deer and other game they could gather for food. After all we are only a few miles from the Hatchie River so this area would have been a perfect camping site. After your grandmother purchased this land she had the timber cut and what had not already been cleared for crops cleared. Never forget your grandmother is the brains behind this farm. I am the merchant she is the “farmer”.”

We rode in silence for a while until the edge of the cemetery came in view. My horse got nervous this let me know something was not right. My horse (Gaga ,a quarter horse) was very protective of me so I always paid attention to her.

 Pop motioned for me to back up and stay. He went forward to the right and pulled out his shotgun. His horse (Jake) was use to the sound of the gun so he did not move when the gun went off.  To the left out of the cemetery came a big (well big to me) Bobcat running like crazy. Gaga calmed down and moved forward we joined Pop and headed into the cemetery. 

The vines were loaded as was the ground it did not take long to get our buckets full and head back home.

As we headed home I knew had a life lesson coming.

Pop looked my way “ Child never take more berries than you need we share with nature’s creatures and with the others that live on the farm. That it what life is about sharing the bounty. Greedy is not in our family’s vocabulary.”

We made it back home in time after dropping the berries off to Grandmother.

We headed to the barn unsaddled the horses brushed them down, fed them and let them out to head toward the water tub.

As soon as I hit the door Grandmother pointed me toward the bathroom where I knew  the bathtub  was ready with clean clothes laid out. Pop would clean up outside at the old water pump of course Grandmother had a clean towel and soap on the side table along with a clean shirt. (Always a clean shirt at the dinner table)

Before long we were saying our blessings ready to eat supper which consisted of 

Fried pork chops with gravy ,green beans, coleslaw, cat head biscuits and for desert blackberry cobbler. The lady always amazed me I had a good childhood full of wonderful memories.


Mr. John Long Jr.


dn english

Mr. John and I had such wonderful conversations about the history of Jackson , the Pythian building and other events in Jackson.

 Before I talk about the local Western Union Office that was once located on the first floor of 206 E. Main I will give you a brief history of Western Union.

Western Union

The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company, now Western Union, began as a financial services and communications company in 1851. The firm expanded by buying out a number of competitive companies. In 1856, the company changed its name to Western Union Telegraph Company in anticipation of its ability to send telegraphs from the east coast to the west coast. The company completed its first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, then went on to offer a variety of money- and time-related services to the public. In 1884, the company was one of the first 11 to list on the Dow Jones Transportation Average in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Western Union company merged with the First Data Corporation in 1995, but the firm still uses the name Western Union for its financial assistance services. Recently it got involved with satellite communications and for a short time, cellular phones.

Western Union Telegraph KeyIn the beginning

With the 1937 Samuel F.B. Morse invention of the telegraph already delivered to the world, a new company was on its way to transforming the world of communications forever.

When the new The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company began operation, it was one of 50 that crisscrossed the northeastern states. There was no interconnection of lines. Messages were transferred by hand from one company to another, and rates were as high as $20 for a telegram (big money in those days).

The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company set out to establish a unified, efficient service and carry it nationwide. During its first five years, the company acquired 11 other lines operating in five states north of the Ohio River and joined its eastern network with a telegraph line running as far west as St. Joseph, Missouri.

On April 8, 1856, the name of the company was changed to The Western Union Telegraph Company, signifying the union of “western” lines into onesystem. Western Union Pod BikeSpanning coast to coast

With the outbreak of the Civil War, swift communication with the far West became essential. The only rapid communication beyond the Missouri River was by the Pony Express, which took 10 days to carry telegrams and mail from St. Joseph to Sacramento, California. Although a telegraph line was needed, it seemed impossible to string a 2,000-mile line across the plains and over the rugged Rockies. Other telegraph companies refused to join in the undertaking, and even President Abraham Lincoln told Hiram Siley, Western Union’s president, “I think it is a wild scheme. It will be next to impossible to get your poles and materials distributed on the plains, and as fast as you complete the line, the Indians will cut it down.”

The first poles were set up on July 4, 1861, and day after day, following heavy supply wagons and herds of cattle, each team of builders stretched the line 10 or 12 miles farther across the nation.

The strands of iron wire, uniting the nation in rapid communication for the first time, were joined at Salt Lake City on October 24, 1861, only 112 days after the project was begun. Two days later, the U.S. government stopped using the Pony Express service and turned to the “lightning lines” to speed messages across the continent.

Western Union Telegraph coverGradually, Western Union absorbed more than 500 telegraph companies throughout the nation, growing so much by 1884 that it was included in the original 11 stocks tracked in the first Dow-Jones Average. As the company expanded, it developed ingenious new services to keep pace with the changing needs of the American public.*


In 1900 the Western Union Office was located on E. Baltimore. Then it moved to the ground floor of the Phythian (206 E. Main) where it was until the late 1960’s.

Mr. John worked for Western Union from 1940 -1943 until he went into the service. When he came back (1945) he went back to work as a messenger. At that time Mrs Ricketts was the manager of the office her sister Mrs. Black was the bookkeeper and unlike before the war all the Operators were women. The ladies were in charge of sending and receiving messages. Some of the other services offered were time keeping and call boxes.At 11AM everyday the clocks were checked automatically to make sure the were set to Greenwich Mean Time. The call boxes were in the individual businesses. When a Telegraph was ready to be sent they turned a knob on the call box to signal for a messenger to come pick it up. Mr. Truelove was in charge of the clocks, call boxes and the Telegraph lines.

Each day Mr. John would ride his Schwinn  bike to the office( it was an unwritten rule  all messengers had Schwinn bikes). When a messenger had to deliver a death telegraph the Mrs. Ricketts would find a neighbor or relative  to accompany the messenger so the recipient would not be alone..

One of my favorite Mr. John stories was when he was asked to deliver a Telegraph to a lady who worked for Miss Ollie. He knocked on the door and Miss Ollie answered the door. After a discussion he convince Miss Ollie he had to deliver the Telegraph to the receiving lady and no one else. He waited on the porch and this beautiful lady came out assuring him she was the recipient. She read the Telegraph out loud. “ honey in jailstop send money stop” what she said I can not repeat . She asked for a pad and wrote a reply “ busy in bed stop sick stop no money for you stop” she paid for the return reply and tipped me a quarter. He told me he never forgot that day. He also on more than one occasion had to go get a fellow messenger out of the movie theater to finish his route or come get another messenger to deliver. “Of course never me” he just laughed..

There were many stories Mr. John shared with me about working at Western Union not only about the people who worked there but the thousand of  messages they delivered . Can you just imagine the tears of joy or sorrow, the laughter and the many other emotions that resulted from that single sheet of paper  delivered by a messenger in Jackson ,Tn .



I am attempting to locate the oldest bridge in Madison Co. This is the oldest I have found so far. HELP  do you know of and older one? I do know some private land owner constructed the earliest bridges in 1890’s maybe earlier but they have been replaced by County and State bridges.. I also know the railroad companies constructed bridges in 1850’s for their use. What I am looking for is the first County and State bridges used by private travel— wagons, cars, trucks and buses. 

On the bridge question I know that most bridge construction across Tennessee stop durning WWI because of lack of steel. 

 Began again after the war but when in Madison Co.

Wanted to review a citizen of Jackson Tn. That made a difference in the roads and bridges in Madison County and across the country. Of historical interest during this early Good Roads period is Sam Lancaster of Jackson. Born in Mississippi, his family moved to Jackson when he was a child. There he studied engineering at Union University until his father’s death ended his formal education. He then went to work for the Illinois Central Railroad as a construction engineer. In 1888, the Illinois Central Railroad had provided Jackson leaders, and others, a free trip on its rail line to view improved road and sewer systems in other cities. As noted elsewhere, railroads were a leading component of the Good Roads movement and viewed good local roads and local prosperity as a means to bolster their own economic stability. Following this, in 1889, the city of Jackson hired Lancaster as the city engineer. Lancaster installed sewer, water and light systems, paved streets, and parks. However, the most far-reaching project was to replace muddy roads with a half-million-dollar model system of hard-surfaced roads in and around Jackson, which he implemented in 1903. The following year, Lancaster wrote an article about this project that was published in the Department of Agriculture’s Yearbook, then the national department in charge of roads. This article enhanced Lancaster’s career, pushing him onto the national stage. Tennessee’s loss was the nation’s gain: the Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson soon appointed him a consulting engineer with his office and sent him on a nationwide tour extolling the virtues of good roads. Lancaster soon left to work in the northwest, where he was the engineer for the Columbia River Highway, an extraordinary road system that was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of that era and now designated as a National Historic Landmark. For that project, Lancaster functioned as not only the engineer but also as a landscape architect, carefully developing a road system compatible with the existing idyllic setting. As one historian has noted, “Lancaster’s single most important lifetime accomplishment — his master lifework

While searching bridges  I came across this and thought it was interesting.

What’s in a name? TDOT….

In 1915, the state legislature established a state highway department and the Tennessee Highway Commission, a three member non-paid commission. The state agency was called the Tennessee Department of Highways until 1923, although during this time, the name Tennessee State Highway Department appeared in many official documents. Under Governor Austin Peay, in 1923, the state restructured many departments, and the highway department became the Tennessee Department of Highways and Public Works. In 1972, the title was changed to its current name, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT

Ok ,that the end of today’s history lesson.


history and ghosts

441 East Chester

d n english

441 East Chester is now the home ofDCA/DCPR but let’s go back in time and see what was at this location.

According to the City Directory 1890 this location was the main house  of the Brown Estate. Then in the late 1890’s the house had been turned into a boarding house for the facility of Memphis Conference Female College . Until  around 1918 some workers from downtown called the location home. 

Then in the  1920’s the property was sold to Mr. Griffin who had the property cleared. It was said many in Jackson were elated since the house and the out buildings (servant quarters and old kitchen) were the most haunted buildings  in downtown. ( ghost story to follow)

In the early days the Umphlett and Griffin undertaking business was downtown there was a furniture store downstairs ,a workshop where they would build the coffins and Funeral Parlor upstairs. Mr Griffin bought Mr Umphlett out of the Funeral Parlor and move the business to Church and E. Chester

Mr. Griffin contracted to build one of the first buildings that was  just a Funeral Home. In the south most of the Funeral Homes were in converted homes with the embalming parlor in the basement or “back room”. Mr Griffin drew the plans where the business would be on the main floor. On the main floor  were viewing rooms, family room ,chapel and offices.The upstairs were the family quarters. Out back was the a large garage to hold of the companies vehicles and an attached state of the art embalming parlor. Construction was completed in 1930 and opened for business.

Later the Griffin family sold their businesses to  a group of investors that included Mickey Granger. The upstairs was living quarters for some of the employees.

 Then it sold in 1990 to SCI. In 2000 Seth Chandler was looking to relocate to downtown so he purchased the building for his business.

Ghosts of 441 East Chester

d n english

The original home , servant quarters, stables, and out door kitchen were built in the 1830’s. The Brown family started with a 8 room home and by 1890 the house had been expanded to 15 rooms including 10 bedrooms and a indoor kitchen.

The sightings of unusual events were reported as early as 1861.

The stories were pasted down through the years of odd sounds and spooky lights. 

The first story was of the beautiful little 6 year old , the pride and joy of her father, who had died while riding her new pony.

He had felt so much sorrow because it was his fault he had spooked the pony and the girl went flying hitting the ground .

The doctor was called but the little girl died. For weeks after the funeral  he sat in her room so sad. He had his brother give the pony away to another child it was not the pony’s fault.

Soon the servants reported at the back of property where the little girl rode they could hear her laughter and the sound of the pony running. 

The next sad event that happened in this home was the death of the grandmother. Who was found at the bottom of the grand staircase dead. Some said it was an accident others said she was pushed by  her daughter in law. There had been no love lost between them. Well the grandmother loved the house so she was not ready to leave. It was said she went out of her way to move objects ,cause lights to flicker and weird sounds to be heard. Things that just terrified the family especial the daughter in law who was said to have gone mad because of them.

The family moved out and the house was turned into a boarding house in late 1890’s . The haunting did not stop  the boarders would see  images in the mirror in the parlor. Doors would slam upstairs when no one was there, singing could be heard at night. Some of the boarders moved out others just made the best of the situation.

When the boarding house closed and before Mr. Griffin purchase the house the ghosts and spirits had control of the property. The stories were wild and many a person would go by at night to spot a light or hear a sound.

Mr. Griffin was said to have told people

 he tore down the house and outbuildings to build his Funeral Home and get the spirits to move on.

Soon after the Funeral opened he found that was not going to happen. The spirits of the past just got company. Some said in the embalming parlor they would be hear whispers or the sound of horses. One said they could smell cooking where the embalming parlor sat used to be the outdoor kitchen and behind that the stables. 

Inside as more families would have services for their loved ones reports increased of odd sightings and sounds. Some said the reason Mr. Griffin had a  massive train set up in the family quarters was because the spirit told him to do it. Seems there was a train engineer who once lived in the boarding house and had a train set in his room. Who knows ?

Wonder if the current occupants have experienced any odd sighting or sounds?