The famous Myrtles Plantation known as “The Myrtles” was built in the late period of 1796. Constructed by General Bradford, he and his wife and children lived there for years, eventually passing it down to their children. The house had seen its share of misfortunes, as Bradford had passed, leaving his wife to run the plantation, which in turn he left to her daughter who also perished as well as several others in the family. The estate changed hands to Ruffin Stirling and his wife and the new owners renovated, increasing the size of the main house to nearly double the original. The name of the plantation was changed as this point from “Laurel Grove” to “The Myrtles,” due to all the crepe myrtles that grew nearby. The large house was filled with European furniture and décor from the Stirlings. Ruffin passed, leaving the plantation to his wife Mary Catherine. The plantation survived the time of the Civil War, although it was robbed overall its fine décor and furnishings. The plantation was continued to pass down through the hands of Mary Catherine and her children, many of which passed from illness or misfortune until debt from the war finally forced the sale of it in 1891. Ownership continued to change and in the 70s, it was purchased and used as a bed and breakfast. The owners noticed some odd things going on and wrote a book of the sightings and occurrences and dubbed it one of the most haunted places in America. Word has spread of the famed paranormal activity seen and heard here and the Myrtles Plantation has been featured in many television shows, social media and magazines.
The Myrtles Plantation architecture
The most prominent feature of the main house is the 125-foot long veranda that stretches the entire length of the house and then wraps around the southern end. The house is the typical creole cottage-style seen in many plantation homes of that era. The home was extended to double its original size and upon the first appearance seems stately and elegant, tucked away among the trees and green grass of the plantation. The entry doors are lovely and feature hand-painted stained glass designed in a French cross that is supposed to help ward off evil. Six brick chimneys can be found throughout the gorgeous plantation and the house is a wonder to look at.
The home has two floors and 22 rooms altogether. A gorgeous staircase and a 300-pound French crystal chandelier are among the most stunning interior features. All of the flooring along with most of the windows are all original to the home. A music room, formal dining room, game room, as well as ladies and gentleman’s parlors can be seen. The second floor has five bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms. The largest of the bedrooms is known as the Judge Clarke Woodruff suite. Many other special features can be seen throughout the home. Ceiling medallions, Carrara marble mantels and much more can be seen in the details of this elaborate and historic plantation home.
The grounds have a large pond with an island in the middle of it, where a gazebo sits. Guests can take the bridge leading over the pond to the island and gazebo. Behind the house is what is known as the General’s Store, which is the oldest structure on the grounds. General Bradford lived here first while the main home was being constructed. There are also modern cottages for guests to stay in as well as other outbuildings scattered among the grounds.
The alleged hauntings of The Myrtles have made the location famous. It has been filmed on several paranormal T.V. shows and the website has photographs of sightings and stories behind them. The photograph that started it all is known as “Chloe Postcard.” In 1992, the insurance company required the owners to take pictures of the distance between the buildings for fire insurance purposes. What was photographed was deemed as an apparition of what seemed to be a slave girl between the two buildings. The photograph was researched and investigated and all parties agreed that the measurements and size were indeed human, but the boards of the siding of the house could clearly be seen through the figure. Another photograph was taken in front of the main house of a visiting teacher and some of her students. But what was seen in the window of the picture here astounded and shocked many. The “Ghost Girl” as she called, appears in the window. This photograph was investigated as well, pixel by pixel and no tampering was ever to be found. Many other apparition sightings have been seen and heard by both owners and visitors to the plantation. Only one murder occurred at the residence. William Winter was resting on the porch when he was shot by a stranger in 1871. William managed to make it inside and tried to ascend the stairs, but died allegedly on the 17th step. Guests report hearing his dying footsteps in the night to this day. The building is said to be built above an ancient Tunica Indian burial ground, which some believe is the cause for such strange activity.
Tours and Information
Several different tours are offered to guests to explore the buildings and grounds of the historic plantation. A guided historic tour is offered daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is also a guided mystery tour. There is also a private mystery tour that is more expensive, but thrilling. Self-guided tours of the grounds are allowed. The plantation is operated as a bed and breakfast. Accommodations include anything from rooms in the main house, garden rooms, a caretaker’s cottage as well as several other cottages available for your stay. Prices vary depending on the room and range from 148 to 400 dollars. A plantation style breakfast is served daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to begin your day in a historic and beautiful plantation setting.
One of the Remaining Plantations
Plantations were known for the huge and gorgeous houses and hundreds, even thousands of acres they occupied. After the Civil War, the plantation life quietly melted into the past. The Myrtles Plantation is one of the few remaining and intact plantation homes available for the public to experience. Ghost stories, tours, wonderful breakfast and historic and detailed accommodations await you at The Myrtles Plantation. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of a house built in the late 1700s that still exists! Walk the lovely grounds and keep an eye out for any apparitions that still may call Myrtles Plantation home.