Monday, January 26, 2009

As Promised

As promised I visited two of my favorite old homes today. The first is Endview Plantation. (Here is a brief history of the plantation)

Built in 1769 by William Harwood. By the outbreak of the Civil War, Endview had passed out of direct ownership of the Harwood family and was purchased by William’s great-grandson Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis. Dr. Curtis was one of two physicians in the county at this time. The 1860 census shows that Curtis owned $8,000 worth of real estate, $21,000 worth of personal property and 12 slaves. By 1861 Dr. Curtis was off fighting the Civil War, but returned home and retreated with his family to Danville VA. for the remainder of the war. Federal troops occupied the Endview property and remained in and around the area until the end of the war. In early 1864, the Federal government confiscated the plantation and relocated seven African-American families there to farm. The Curtis family returned after the war and within a few months regained possession of there things.

As you can see the farm and land has a rich history so it is no surprise that the home is also associated with hauntings.

Reports have said that a woman has been seen crossing the road from the cemetery towards the house during re-enactments that are held at the Plantation. This woman is known as the woman in white. Reports also show that the room, that was used as a nursery has curtains that open after they have been closed for the night. Civil War re-en actors who would stay in the cabins (built for them to stay in during re-enactments) have reported ghostly happenings. Doors open and close on their own, cold spots appear even in the summer, and many of them felt a presence when they were alone and heard disembodied voices.

With these stories in mind I arrived early and joined a tour. No photos were allowed in the home itself but I did get a lot of shots of the outside.

These last two photos are graves of the Curtis family. I may be mistaken but I believe the child's grave is their child (They had 11). It is documented that one child a girl age 8 died in the home. She was suffering from intestinal worms and the "cure" at that time was arsenic. Her father being a DR. administered the dosage and she was given to much and died.

After I walked around the grounds near the house, I went back a bit further to the natural spring.

It is a bit hard to see in this photo, but when I visited last summer it had quit a bit of water in it. We were told that this spring was one of the main reasons that soldiers stayed here on the property during the war as it was one of the only natural springs in the area.
I continued on and found the Hargrove Cemetery. Several children and adults are buried here, and it is believed that there are several more unmarked graves.

Beyond this area through a field is where the famous "haunted" cabins were. I had never been back there and must admit I was a bit nervous. After all I was the only one walking around the property and could not see the house from where I was at. It is the dead of winter and this place looked creepy...I wondered how long it would take anyone to find me if something happened ha ha..
I took a deep breath and moved forward.

What I found back there were a bunch of old run down cabins that were once used for the re-en actors. It made me wonder why there are no longer in use. I felt very uneasy in this area and didn't stay long.
I had been at Endview awhile and knew I needed to hurry if I was going to make the tour at Lee Hall

I was very disappointed in this tour and will not waste your time talking about it. The tour guide was very brisk and rushed us from one room to another.
If your interested in this home you can learn more from my post last summer I have the history and some photos there.
The only interesting part of this home was at the end. I met a lady and her daughter who had been on the tour with me at Endview. It seems that they were also interested in ghost and we started talking. It turned out this was the highlight of my day because the daughter (who is about 10) "see and feels" ghost. The mom "senses" things and together they were a lot of fun. The daughter said she felt a friendly presence there at Lee Hall. She mentioned this to the tour guide. Of course she phoo phoo the idea and within a minute of us talking to her the men's bathroom door swung open on it's own and hit me in the leg. We all started laughing and the daughter told the tour guide...well the ghost you don't have just went into the bathroom. I loved it.

Anyway and the mom, daughter and I started talking we of course turned the conversation back to Endview. I asked them if they had walked the grounds to the old cabins and they had said no, then the daughter told her mom she wanted to go and told her mom that she wanted me to come along..

Since the two homes are on the same road it took less than five minutes to return to Endview where we were told we only had a half hour before they closed, so we hurried to the back area where I once again took some photos. Both mom and daughter felt creepy and the mom said she felt as if someone was there. I am far from psychic but had to agree. I don't think it had anything to do with the cabins, but more with the land. Perhaps it was the spirits of the slaves or the soldiers of long ago. I suppose we will never know. While there the mom and daughter both turned on the recording area of there cell phone. Mom asked...Is someone here, Can you tell me your name, why are you here (with time between each question to hear an answer)
Then she played it back. If I hadn't been there I wouldn't have believed it, but clear as a bell when asked CAN YOU TELL ME YOUR NAME..I heard a clear whisper..STEVEN
We had a name..Steven..

One my first trip to this plantation I did not especially feel like it was haunted. Now I am not so sure. I suppose it depends on what you believe. Do spirits linger? Can they interact with the living?
Here is one thing that did happen that I haven't mentioned...
Take a close look at these two photos

Do you see the difference?
Yes the door is open..
The first photo was taken at 1:23
The second one was taken at 3:36
Could someone have come down the path in those two hours and opened the door? Of course they could have. We can always debunk the photos. After all I wasn't the only person to take a tour that day...but maybe, just maybe it was STEVEN, going out for a walk...

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Blogger Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks for more info on these two plantaions, Patty. I wondered about them when you posted them before.

Don't you hate it when the tour guides are AWFUL???? When we were in Charleston, we took a tour and loved it. Then we went to Savannah and took a tour there. The guide was HORRIBLE. I even wrote and complained when we got home--but didn't ever even get a response. Grrrrrrr!!!!

Glad you met someone at Lee Hall to make that visit more interesting. Good Luck with the ghost-study!!!

January 27, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Girl, you're more brave than I am to have gone to those abandoned cabins and cemetery alone!!! lol Don't think I could have done that. I loved reading the history behind the Endview Plantation. Boggles the mind at what that house has seen and heard in all those years! I got goose bumps when you mentioned hearing "Steven" on the recording...and then to find that door to the cabin open...brrrrrr! Thank you for sharing this excursion with us:-) xoxo

January 27, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Grace said...

Hi, Patty,

What WONDERFUL pictures and the history on the house is fascinating! You may have already mentioned this, but those small cabins? The ones that you felt uneasy around? The word that came to mind when I viewed them (I'm clairaudient) is "Slave Quarters". I don't know the personal history of the plantation, but if those ARE slave quarters, it would be understandable why people (re-enactors) wouldn't want to stay there. I would imagine the energy footprint left of them would be less than...well...welcoming :(

January 28, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger hippymummy said...

Ooh, shivers! I love anything like this, anything with history and character that retains some of it's 'memories'. It's a good job that you met that lady and her delightful daughter to make up for your guide being a party pooper. you'd think that really they'd want to encourage a supernatural reputation for the place as surely it would bring a wider range of visitors? Oh well, there's nowt as queer as folk. I wonder if there's any way of looking back through the records to see if there's a Steven? I don't know if it'd be a coon name that long ago? It raises a lot more questions than answers doesn't it. I'm glad that you enjoyed most of it, if you find out any more you must please let us know! xXx

January 28, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Patty said...

The cabins are not orginal to the land, but we do know that slaves were living on this plantation. I got the feeling that perhaps this area of the plantation might be where the orginal quarters were. The house has been turned into a museum,and is now owned by the city of Newport News (VA). They are doing diggings trying to find some of the out buildings. So far they have not found the quarters.

January 29, 2009 at 1:19 AM  

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