Thursday, July 12, 2012

Waverly - Mississippi's Haunted & Historic Mansion

Waverly Mansion
An architectural wonder, Waverly Mansion was once the center of a vast Mississippi cotton plantation. Still a private residence, the home is open to the public daily and is located between the Mississippi cities of Columbus and West Point.
Designed during the 1840s, the house took several years to construct and was finished in 1852. The octagonal cupola, its distinguishing architectural feature, offered Col. George Hampton Young a 360 degree view of his plantation and the surrounding countryside. It also was part of a unique 19th century "air conditioning" system.

The Gates of Waverly
The interior of the house is open from the cupola down to the ground floor and when the windows are open, it generates airflow that moves warmer air up and out of the cupola as cooler air flows in through the downstairs window. The resulting "breeze" helped cool the house during the hot Mississippi summer and was a remarkable innovation for its day.

Waverly also had interior lighting powered by gas manufactured on the grounds and then piped into the house. An exterior ice house was dug 20 feet deep and provided storage for blocks of ice brought in from Northern climes. The natural insulation provided by storing the ice so far underground helped keep it from melting for weeks at the time and allowed the residents and their guests to enjoy chilled beverages.

The home's original owner, Col. Young was a friend of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest and the "Wizard of the Saddle" once spent three weeks at Waverly recuperating from battlefield wounds.

And then their are the ghosts! The 20th century restoration of Waverly apparently awakened quite a collection of them, ranging from a young girl who cries for her mother to a mysterious horse and rider that appear in the yard. Waverly is traditionally said to be one of the most haunted houses in the South.

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