Sunday, July 8, 2007

Finding a ghost on my trip to Petersburg

My daughter and I went to Petersburg today, and spent the afternoon touring.
We started off at the Visitors Center

Then we walked over to the Farmers Market

From there you could see some old buildings, a lot of them are boarded up now, but I can picture in my mind how beautiful they must have once been.

Some of them have been turned into Antique stores and we spent most of the afternoon looking around in them.

After we shopped we stopped at BLANDFORD CHURCH

Blandford Church was built in 1735 as the seat of worship for members of Bristol Parish. The church building was abandoned in 1806 when membership in its congregation dwindled as a result of the consecration of a new church building in downtown Petersburg. In 1901, work began to restore the building for use as a Confederate Memorial chapel.

Blandford Church is believed to be one of only six in the United States with windows exclusively designed and fabricated by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Officials believe the church's 15 glass masterpieces were installed between 1904 and 1912.

The project represents the continuation of restoration efforts at the church by the Ladies Memorial Association of Petersburg. The group formed in 1866 and began its work by coordinating the re-interment of the remains of 30,000 Confederate soldiers that were scattered about the city after the Civil War. In 1901, the association began restoring Old Blandford Church as a Confederate memorial. Tiffany was commissioned to make the windows. Eleven former Confederate states and the border states of Maryland and Missouri each donated a window. A booklet on the Tiffany Compass Windows of Old Blandford Church is available through the Petersburg Museums gift shop.

The cemetery adjacent to Blandford Church has been used as a burial ground since the early eighteenth century. The oldest marked grave dates from 1702. Among the more noted individuals buried within the cemetery is one foreigner, Major General William Phillips, British citizen and commander of the British troops during the April 25, 1781 "Battle of Petersburg." Phillips died on May 13, 1781 in Petersburg following a fever that was most likely malaria or typhus. A memorial stone, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1914, stands adjacent to Blandford Church, marking the general location of Phillips' secret burial, done at the direction of his deputy commander, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold.

In June 1866, the first Memorial Day was celebrated in honor of the 30,000 Confederate soldiers buried on Memorial Hill inside the burial ground. The cemetery's gravestones, sculptures, and tombs represent a diverse array of eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century styles of funerary art. In addition, some plots feature exquisite examples of nineteenth century decorative iron fences

While we were in the grave yard, we started playing with my grandson, asking him if he saw any ghost. I believe that children see and feel things that we as grown-ups can't. It didn't surprise me when he said YES. We asked him who did he see...He replied A papa..not HIS papa, but A papa. We really started getting into it when he started walking off on his own.

My daughter and I followed at a short distances asking him where the Papa was...Gone he said..Where did he go we asked..Here he said pointing to the ground.

We let his imagination (and ours) run wild for a few more minutes, checking out a few of the confederate graves

then we got in the car and road to the back of the cemetery where we saw these beautiful deer grazing. It was a breath of fresh air to see something so alive and so beautiful in an other wise dead and solemn area

We spotted a few old graves that were set apart from the others and when we stopped to take photos this is what happened.

Did you see the mist? Or was my imagination playing tricks on me?
Just before those photos were taken, my daughter once again asked her son if he was seeing anyone in the area...He pointed to the exact spot I just showed you and said Yep..
It spooked me and I told my daughter I thought it was time to leave

We had just got around the corner and took the last two photos (I love the dog and the angel) when:
My grandson looked out the window and let out a scream. YIKES!
I let out a scream and started yelling at my daughter to roll up the windows. She was trying to adjust her contacts at the time and couldn't see to drive, so we were laughing and panicking at the same time. We got out of there as fast as we could giggling because if it there really were any ghost out there rolling up the window wouldn't have stopped them from getting in the car!!
Anyway it was quite an adventure and I think it will be awhile before we go ghost hunting again.

These last few photos are of the treasure my daughter got today while shopping.
This is a real elephants foot. You can see the toes which are bone and actually see where they sewed the skin back together. It has been used as a plant stand, so my daughter will continue to use it that way.
I have never heard of anyone making a planter out of an elephants foot before and wondered how a thrift store happened to have it. I suppose if she ever gets tired of it she can sell it on EBAY.
As for me I bought a funky chicken made of wood. I'm to tired to take a photo of it tonight. I am heading to bed, but will try and photograph it tomorrow. Also if you would like to see more photos of the cemetary, you can visit my blog archives for Dec 3, 2006. My husband and I were there then and I have a slide show on that post of the day

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Anonymous amy said...

What a fun trip! I love the graveyard photos too. That's sort of a good idea about asking little ones if they see anything when you are there. I took a little boy I was babysitting to a cemetery once because he wanted to go and then he almost fell into an open grave hole and that's when we left. :)

July 8, 2007 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger peppylady said...

Your ghost are much older then ours over here in Idaho.
Glad to hear that your daughter, grandson all had a good time.

July 8, 2007 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger miss*R said...

lurve that angel! I love how children see spirits - my children did but then the world gets in their head and they close down - then we spend our adult life trying to open up again.

July 9, 2007 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger T*mmy said...

I had a best friend once when our children were small we would load them in their strollers and walk the cemetery...they never saw anything that I know of...shiver...
Have you ever heard of the elephant ear plant...their leaves are huge!!
PS...let me know if you get something in the mail...

July 9, 2007 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I love to read about your adventures!

July 9, 2007 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Jaspenelle said...

Whoa! That is creepy and very cool.

I want an elephant foot planter now... Let us know if she ever ebays it ;)

July 12, 2007 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Meow (aka Connie) said...

Wow, creepy photos ! That mist looks awesome ... I'd say it was a spirit or something !!
Hmmm, not sure about the elephant foot planter ... can't help thinking about the 3-legged elephant limping around somewhere, LOL.
Take care, Meow

July 14, 2007 at 7:08 AM  

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