Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hammond Mansion and Grist Mill, Hedgesville

The Hammond Mansion was built between 1838 and 1845, and was home to Dr. Allen C. Hammond and his family.  It was an L-shaped brick federal style building.  It is rumored that another family lived on the property in the 1700s, but was attacked by bears.

The Hammonds were among the few Confederate supporters in an area which was largely under Union occupation.  While Dr. Hammond and his sons were off fighting in the War (his son George was with Company B 1st Virginia Confederate Calvary and died during the war), the ladies remained in the home.

Legend states that during this time, the ladies shot, sniper-style, several Union soldiers.  As a result, the ladies were captured and locked into the brick, windowless slave shack on the property.  The order was given to get rid of the women, meaning to take them out of the area, but the order was misinterpreted, and indeed, the women were gotten rid of.  Fire was set to the slave shack, killing them all.

Also during this era, the home served as a Civil War hospital.  When a typhoid epidemic broke out, victims were sent here, and quarantined on the summer porch.

In 1978, a fire gutted the home, leaving little more than a brick shell.  In its state of disrepair, the home became a favorite shelter for the homeless population, and one vagrant did freeze to death in the area of the summer kitchen.

It  is this homeless man, and the women who tragically died in the fire, who are said to still roam the grounds of the mansion.

The house WAS eventually restored, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Spring Mills Historic District, listed as for sale.  Also in the district is another haunted location, the Stephens-Hammond Mill at Falling Waters.  It is said that the mill, once used by Gen. Jackson, was home to ghostly lights and sounds coming from the second and third stories of the mill, even though the floors of the upper levels were rotted away.  The mill is now torn down.

 Historic Register Application

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