Sunday, September 8, 2013

Catching up on Georgia research

Please pardon the lack of posting. I’m currently working not one, but two, jobs and my time has been very limited. When I do have a little time, however, I’ve been working on research.
                              
Most of my research could be termed as arm chair ghost hunting. I start by scouring the books in my library, then move to other media sources—periodicals, newspapers and trustworthy blogs—looking for more information. To keep up with these disparate sources, I have spreadsheets—one for each of the 13 states I’m working on—listing hauntings by locations, with other pertinent information like address, city and county, then a column of references—with page numbers for books.

It’s a decent system that works for me. If I’m in need of finding haunted places in a specific area, I can sort the listings by city or county. When I need to find something I can simply pull the book from the shelf or go to the computer file and find it. Though it does take time to scour each book or article and add that information to the spreadsheet.

I have neglected Georgia for awhile, while working on other states. Though, it is hard to neglect my home state for too long. Jim Miles has just published three marvelous books on Georgia’s Civil War ghosts: Civil War Ghosts of North Georgia, Civil War Ghosts of Atlanta and Civil War Ghosts of Central Georgia and Savannah, and I’ve busily gotten these entered into the spreadsheet.

They’ve inspired me to start a heavy duty search for Georgia ghosts and I’ve found many interesting hauntings. Here are a couple of some of the more interesting hauntings.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth

According to a 2008 article from Accent Gwinnett Magazine, a few of the pieces of rolling stock in the museum’s collection also contain ghosts. The “Washington Club” car from the old Atlantic Coast Line Railway is the supposed residence of a man in old fashioned attire. The story contains reports of two separate visitors encountering the mysterious man.

President Warren G. Harding's personal Pullman Car, The Superb,
now housed in the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth.
Photo 2007, by John Hallett. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

President Warren G. Harding’s personal Pullman sleeper, The Superb, is also housed here and quite possibly houses a restless spirit. During a presidential cross-country tour in 1923, Harding collapsed and died in San Francisco. The Superb transported his body back to Washington.

The museum was founded in 1970 by the Atlanta chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. The grounds occupy some 35 acres and displays nearly 90 items of rolling stock. A quick search reveals that in the past the museum has operated ghost tours of its haunted collection.

Sources
Bieger, Emily. “Mysterious man from days gone by.” Accent Gwinnett
     Magazine. July-August 2008.
Southern Railway Museum. “About.” Accessed 31 August 2013.
Southern Railway Museum. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 31 August
     2013.
The Superb. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 31 August 2013.

Louisville Market House
West Broad Street at Mulberry Street
Louisville

As to whether the old market house in downtown Louisville is haunted remains to be seen, I did come across an article about an investigation conducted there in 2006. The organization that investigated, the Georgia Ghost Society, no longer has a website and is presumably defunct, like many paranormal organizations. Therefore, there’s nothing readily available on what the group found during their investigation.

Market House, 1934. Photograph by Branan Sanders for the Historic
American Buildings Survey, Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints
and Photographs Division.
The building itself is quite intriguing. Since its construction towards the last years of the 18th century, the market house has seen the sale of many things including slaves. The building was constructed during the few years that Louisville served as a capital of Georgia from 1796 to 1806. Under the building’s ancient roof is a bell that was originally sent by Louis XVI of France (for whom the city is named) to a convent in New Orleans. On its journey, it was supposedly captured by pirates and sold in Savannah.

Sources
Ellison, Faye. “Ghost society hopes to stir up spirits at Market House.” The
     News and Farmer. 26 October 2006.
Workers of the Writers’ Program of the WPA in the State of Georgia. Georgia:
     A Guide to its Towns and Countryside. Athens, UGA Press, 1946.

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