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The Myrtles Plantation, the facts, just the facts.

By Tyler James Photos by Terry Wilson

The Haunted Myrtles The Real Haunted Plantation

Experience Antebellum Splendor in "One of America's Most Haunted Homes"

St. Francisville, Louisiana Ghosts.

Saint Francisville is located in West Feliciana Parish. A small town on the Mississippi River. Once the Capital of the Republic of West Florida, it is here that John James Audubon (Birds of America Collection) created over 80 of his beautiful watercolors. There are seven Magnificent Plantation homes opened for public tours. And one you would not want to miss. Considered one of "The 10 Most Haunted Places in America" by many Ghost hunters and researchers around the world.

Myrtle's Plantation was built in 1796 by Whiskey Rebellion leader, Gen. David Bradford. One of the leaders of the insurrection, escaped and fled to a location near what is today called New Orleans (about one hundred miles away) where he built his second home a much larger mansion and moved his family. A successful lawyer, businessman, and Deputy Attorney General of Washington County Pennsylvania . His Pennsylvania home reflected his high social standing, not only by its size, but also by its fittings- the magnificent mahogany staircase and the interior wood finishing which show remarkable craftsmanship.

By 1794 he had become a prominent figure in the "Whiskey Rebellion". This insurrection was caused, in part, by the lack of federal courts (which necessitated trips to Philadelphia for trial), large numbers of absentee landlords, lack of protection from the Indians, and the high excise tax on whiskey. President George Washington ordered 12,000 to 13,000 troops to the Washington Pennsylvania area. This was the first test of the power of the new government. Bradford, under threat of arrest, headed south to Spanish West Florida (Louisiana). Bradford later received a Presidential Pardon.

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

Bradford purchased 650 acres not far from Baton Rouge in the bayou outside a town called St. Francisville. Choosing to build the house on the high point of the property, which has been said to be on ancient Tunica Indian burial grounds, Whether true or not no evidence to this exist. This what some say may have sealed the fate of this beautiful antebellum mansion and plantation.

David Bradford built the Laurel Grove Plantation in 1796 but the house would not receive the name “The Myrtles Plantation" until 1850 when the Stirling family remodeled and added the southern half of the house which now contains the main entryway. David Bradford lived at the Laurel Grove till his death in 1817 of old age. His wife Elizabeth stayed at the family home till her death in 1830. Together they had at least 11 children.

Clark Woodruff who was a law student under Bradford, he took quite a fancy to Bradford’s daughter, Sarah Matilda, who went by the name Matilda. After David’s death Clark asked Elizabeth for permission to marry her underage daughter. Elizabeth granted that permission and on November 19, 1817 they were married. He became a lawyer and was said to be a close friend of Andrew Jackson.

Once marries the Woofruff's had three children, Cornelia Gale, James and Mary Octavia. This family would be broken up by the death of (Sarah) Matilda on July 21, 1823 when she succumbed to yellow fever. The yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans had over taken even the far reaches of St. Francisville because of river trade. and every family in the Parish was reeling to it’s effects. Clark continued managed the plantation for his mother-in-law Elizabeth, while she helped him with his three children. It wouldn’t be long till his only son James would die (July 15, 1824) of yellow fever.Two months to the date (September 16, 1824) his oldest daughter, Cornelia Gale would too die.

The Myrtles has been featured in New York Times, Forbes, Gourmet, Veranda, Travel and Leisure, Country Inns, Colonial Homes, Delta SKY, and on the Oprah Show, A & E, The History Channel, The Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Explorer, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA. It was also featured in The Haunting of Louisiana.

 

With his mother-in-law getting up in age. Clark purchased Laurel Grove, May 25th, 1825, he resided there until Elizabeth died in 1830. He left the plantation and became a Judge over District D in Covington, Louisiana. On January 1 1834 Woodruff sold the Laurel Grove to Ruffin Grey Stirling. Later Clark would move to New Orleans where he served as judge until his death.

Ruffin Grey Stirling, Was owner of many great plantation homes in the area. Stirling had a large family so he patiently remodeled the main house to what we see much of there today. The house he increased in size and the plantation land from 600 acres to over 15000 acres.

Ruffin Grey died from consumption on July 17, 1854 leaving his wife to manage his vast holdings. William Drew Winter managed the vast plantations for his widow. Falling in love with Grey's daughter Sarah they were married on June 3, 1852, the Myrtles Plantation becoming their home. He then became an attorney. By the end of the Civil War, Winter was penniless, And went bankrupt. Winter through his legal knowledge was able to regain the use of the plantation. It was seized and sold to a holding company in New York City. As were many of the great Plantations at the great Wars end.

On January 26, 1871, while going over a Sunday School lesson with his young son in the men’s parlor, Winter heard a man ride up on horseback and called him out on to the Gallery. It seems he was wanting to talk with the attorney over some matter. When Winter went out to see who this was he was shot dead on the gallery . This was reported in the Point Coupee Newspaper. E. S. Webber was the man suspected of firing the fatal shot. William’s wife, Sarah, died seven years latter on April 16, 1878.

In February of 1881, The Myrtles was purchased for $3000 cash in a Sheriff Transfer by Sarah’s Brother Steven Stirling. In 1889 the plantation was sold to Harrison Williams. His family owned The Myrtles till 1955 when they divided the plantation land among the Williams family heirs and the plantation home with ten acres was sold to Marjorie Munson. The huge house was empty for several years and it's age showing badly. It would not be completely restored until the 1970 when Arlen Dease purchased the Myrtles. The color scheme and the furnishings that can be found in the house today can be contributed to him.

210-year-old National Register Home built by General David Bradford ..."Whiskey Dave".

The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House (Mass Market Paperback) by Frances Kermeen (Author of also: Ghostly Encounters: True Stories of America's Haunted Inns and Hotels)

The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House (Mass Market Paperback) Frances Kermeen

The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House 

 

How would you like to spend the night--alone--in the most haunted house in America?

As for the reported ghost story of Chloe. Recently found copies of all the slave holdings of David Bradford, Clark Woodruff and Ruffin Grey Stirling have no mention of there ever being a slave named Chloe being at the Myrtles. This is not to say she did not exist but the name is not present anywhere to be found. The courthouse records clearly state that David Bradford his wife Elizabeth, William Drew Winter, Sarah Woodruff and the two children did all die at the Myrtles Plantation house. As did also many slaves and workers who also lived and worked on the property over the many years. And these are the people who I believe do haunt the magnificent Myrtles Plantation house and it's beautiful grounds.

Court archives in St. Francisville fail to substantiate the existence of "Chloe" (Frank 2001; Williams 2003). Although there are variants (as folklorists say) of the Chloe tale, most do not seem to be evidence of any longstanding tradition. Instead, they appear to result from the mere garbling of details by careless writers. For instance Hauck (1996), apparently following Roberts (1995), gives Chloe's name as "Cleo." (I suspect Chloe was spelled by someone as Cloe, then "corrected" by another to "Cleo.")

Up until the late 70’s when the house was purchased by a couple from California, there were no reported stories of ghosts haunting the empty halls at The Myrtles. It wasn’t to long after they moved in that all the stories we hear today started. There have been several owners since, and the Ghost stories just continue to grow.

The house itself is a broad, low, rambling frame mansion with a clapboard exterior and was built in two halves. The first half, which was built in 1796, forms the western six bays of the main facade. These were increased in size due to mid-19th-century restoration, when the house also received a southward extension that almost doubled its size. The unusually long gallery is supported by an exceptional cast-iron railing of elaborate grape-cluster design. It is the interior detailing, however, which is perhaps the most important feature of the Myrtles Plantation.

Most of the ground floor rooms have fine marble, arched mantles in the Rococo Revival style, with central console keystones or cartouches. Most of the rooms have plaster-ceiling medallions, no two of which are the same. All of the flooring and most of the windows in the house are original. The Myrtles Plantation is an outstanding example of the expanded raised cottage form that characterized many Louisiana plantation houses by the mid-19th century.

Restored to its 1850s grandeur, complete with fine French furnishings and chandeliers. One small piece in the dinning room that was sent back years latter from the Woodruff family. Clark Woodruff died in New Orleans many years after he left the Myrtles.

As we all know," ghost stories" gain a new twist in the telling. I do believe that is what has happened at the Myrtles Plantation. I suggest to everyone visit The Myrtles make your own judgment, or Ghost investigation. As for the Myrtles Haunting's themselves, the truth as they say is out there.

Ghost Hunters: Episode : Myrtle's Plantation : Summary

Originally aired: Wednesday July 27, 2005 on SciFi

Show Stars: Paula Donovan (Herself - Research & Development), Steve Gonsalves (Himself - Technical Advisor and Evidence Analyst), Donna Lacroix (Herself - Case Manager), Brian Harnois (Himself - Technical Advisor and Case Manager), Kristyn Gartland (Herself - Field Researcher), Jason Hawes (Himself - Founder of TAPS and Lead Investigator), Grant Wilson (II) (Himself - Co-Founder of TAPS and Lead Investigator)

The team gets a call from the owners of Myrtle's Plantation in Louisiana (one of the most haunted places in the country). Though it is far afield, they are all excited about the opportunity to debunk this infamous location, and after a little fun in New Orleans, the investigation begins.

Steve Gonsalves

Three pieces of possible paranormal phenomena were recorded on this episode. First, Grant and Jason with the thermal camera caught very quickly what looked like a humanoid torso moving in front of them. Two, a camera caught what looked like a shadow of a person standing up and down outside of the window of a door. Third, and the most compelling is the movement of a lamp across a desk. While it moved only a few inches over the period of four minutes and was unnoticeable at the time, it’s movement could not be explained.

The antebellum estate reportedly "holds the dubious record of more ghostly phenomena per square inch than anywhere else in the country," or so claims Barbara Sillery (2001)

Myrtles Plantation ghost seen in the mirror in 2007, St. Francisville, LA, Sent to us by David Teroubough

The Myrtles Plantation has been featured in New York Times, Forbes, Gourmet, Veranda, Travel and Leisure, Country Inns, Colonial Homes, Delta SKY, and on the Oprah Show, A & E, The History Channel, The Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Explorer, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA. It was also featured in The Hauntings of Louisiana.

Historical tours are conducted daily from 9am - 5pm.
Mystery tours are conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings.


All bed and breakfast reservations include a complimentary tour of this National Historic Register home filled with hand painted stained glass, open pierced plaster frieze work, Aubusson tapestries, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, Carrera marble mantles and gold leafed French furnishings. Guided tours include the history, the architectural significance, and the enchanting stories of mystery and intrigue.

Relax in the giant rockers on the 120-foot verandah or stroll through the lush ten acres filled with majestic live oaks. The 5000 square foot old brick courtyard is the perfect place to unwind before enjoying a delicious candlelight dinner at our Carriage House Restaurant.

Located in the Legendary Plantation Country on U.S. Highway 61, 30 miles North of Baton Rouge between New Orleans, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.

 

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

The house itself is a broad, low, rambling frame mansion with a clapboard exterior and was built in two halves. The first half, which was built in 1796, forms the western six bays of the main façade. These were increased in size due to mid-19th-century restoration, when the house also received a southward extension that almost doubled its size. The unusually long gallery is supported by an exceptional cast-iron railing of elaborate grape-cluster design. It is the interior detailing, however, which is perhaps the most important feature of the Myrtles Plantation. Most of the ground floor rooms have fine marble, arched mantles in the Rococo Revival style, with central console keystones or cartouches. Most of the rooms have plaster-ceiling medallions, no two of which are the same. All of the flooring and most of the windows in the house are original. The Myrtles Plantation is an outstanding example of the expanded raised cottage form that characterized many Louisiana plantation houses by the mid-19th century.

Located behind the home we have four Garden Rooms: The Azalea, Camellia, Magnolia, and Oleander Rooms. Each room has a queen size handmade four-poster cypress bed and a private bath. Each bath has an antique Chippendale claw-foot tub.

The General David Bradford Suite has one large bedroom with a four-poster full size bed and a private sitting room. Two verandahs adjoin the suite. This room has a private bath with a shower.

Then upstairs in the main house we have: The Judge Clarke Woodruff Suite is private from the rest of the home. It has a large bedroom with a sitting area and a four-poster queen size bed. This room has a private bath with a tub.

The Fannie Williams Room has a double bed, private bath with a shower, located in the hallway, a few steps away from the room.

The John W. Leake Room has a four-poster double bed, private bath with a shower in the room.

The William Winters Room has a four-poster queen size bed and private bath with a tub in the room.

The Ruffin-Stirling Room has a four-poster queen size bed, private bath with a shower, located a few steps away in the hallway.

A mirror located in the house supposedly holds the spirits of Sara Woodruff and two of her children. According to custom, mirrors are covered after a death, but legend says that after the poisoning of some of the Woodruffs, this particular mirror was overlooked. The uncovered mirror reportedly trapped the spirits of Sara and her children, who are occasionally seen or leave handprints in the mirror. These handprints may have been left by workers replacing the glass or resilvering the mirror.

Myrtles Plantation ghost seen in the mirror in 2007, St. Francisville, LA, by Terry Wilson

The unusually long gallery is supported by an exceptional cast-iron railing of elaborate grape-cluster design. It is the interior detailing, however, which is perhaps the most important feature of the Myrtles Plantation. Most of the ground floor rooms have fine marble, arched mantles in the Rococo Revival style, with central console keystones or cartouches. Most of the rooms have plaster-ceiling medallions, no two of which are the same. All of the flooring and most of the windows in the house are original. The Myrtles Plantation is an outstanding example of the expanded raised cottage form that characterized many Louisiana plantation houses by the mid-19th century. The plantation house is touted as one of the most haunted houses in America, as it was the scene of a Reconstruction-era murder and other more natural deaths that have entered into local folklore over the years. Restored to its 1850s grandeur, complete with fine French furnishings and chandeliers, the Myrtles enhances its haunted-house reputation with candlelight mystery tours.

 

VISIT THEIR OFFICAL MYRTLES PLANTATION WEBSITE

www.myrtlesplantation.com

http://www.unsolved.com/0121-Myrtle.html

MYRTLES PLANTATION THE SOUTHS MOST HAUNTED HOUSE WALLPAPER BY RICARDO PUSTANIO FROM HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS

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The Myrtles Plantation is located off US 61 North, in St.Francisville. It is open daily for tours 9:00am to 5: 00pm, with mystery tours at 8:00pm Friday and Saturday evenings; there is a fee for admission. The Myrtles also offers bed and breakfast accomodations, and a restaurant (closed Monday and Tuesday). Please call 225-635-6277 for further information.


 

Just a short 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our beautiful small Louisiana town along the Mississippi River in the rolling Tunica Hills, is home to numerous Plantation homes open to the public.

 

 

 

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Some say that Gen. Bradford saw the first ghost - a naked Indian girl in the backyard gazebo. Some over night visitors state that they have seen two young girls peering into bedroom windows or standing at the foot of their beds. How haunted is this Louisian plantion? I say it is very haunted but not with the stories that or told. Fabled in recent years for it's supernatural haunting's The Myrtles as it is called is known throughout the South as the region's most haunted house.

Myrtle's Plantation was built in 1796 by Whiskey Rebellion leader, Gen. David Bradford. When George Washington put a price on his head, Bradford fled his native Pennsylvania for the Spanish-ruled Louisiana territory. Bradford purchased 650 acres not far from Baton Rouge in the bayou outside a town called St. Francisville. Shrouded in haunted myth and mystery in recent years for it's well documented supernatural haunting's.

On January 26, 1871, while going over a Sunday School lesson with his young son in the men’s parlor, Winter heard a man ride up on horseback and called him out on to the Gallery. It seems he was wanting to talk with the attorney over some matter. When Winter went out to see who this was he was shot dead on the gallery . This was reported in the Point Coupee Newspaper. E. S. Webber was the man suspected of firing the fatal shot. William’s wife, Sarah, died seven years latter on April 16, 1878. Winter heard a man ride up on horseback and called him out on to the Gallery. It seems he was wanting to talk with the attorney over some matter. When Winter went out to see who this was he was shot dead on the gallery.

As for "The Famous Ghost Mirror" - that mirror was never original to the house until it was remodeled in the late 1970's. Very often it has been said to hold the trapped spirits of Sarah and the two Woodruff children. Others say it was purchased at an antique shop on Royal Street in the New Orleans French Quarter. And Who is to say it is not a Haunted Mirror. Original though to the home is one small piece in the dinning room that was sent back years latter from the Woodruff family "The famous Ghost mirror" It has been said to hold the trapped spirits of Sarah and the two Woodruff children. Do you see a ghost? Or Does the ghost see you?

In February of 1881, The Myrtles was purchased for $3000 cash. Many great Plantations fell into disrepair after the War between the States.

Up until the late 70’s there were no reported stories of ghosts haunting the empty halls at The Myrtles. It wasn’t to long after they moved in that all the stories we hear today started. These Ghost stories just continue to grow.

 The Myrtles enhances its haunted-house reputation with candlelight mystery tours. The Myrtles Plantation is located off US 61 North, in St.Francisville. It is open daily for tours 9:00am to 5: 00pm, with mystery tours at 8:00pm Friday and Saturday evenings; there is a fee for admission. The Myrtles also offers bed and breakfast accomodations, and a restaurant (closed Monday and Tuesday). Please call 225-635-6277 for further information.

 

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