Monday, July 9, 2012

Danville (VA) Museum of Fine Arts and History

The Sutherlin Mansion was built in 1859 for Confederate quartermaster Major William Sutherlin.  Today, it houses the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, but on April 4th, 1865, the former private residence secured its place in history.

In early April of 1865, Sutherlin hosted the former president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, in his home for an important event.  During that week, Davis met with his Cabinet for one final time, and on April 4th, wrote his final proclamation, dissolving the Confederacy and ending the Civil War.

It is said that this emotional event has left a lasting impression on the environment that many people are able to experience for themselves, nearly 150 years later.  Davis was given a rear guest bedroom during his stay, in case he needed a quick escape from enemies, and today, that room bears his name.  It may also bear a residual piece of his very soul.  Heavy footsteps and cigar smoke are common occurrences experienced in the room, but many people have also SEEN something.  Visitors to the mansion-turned-museum have noted seeing a man gazing out the window of the Davis Bedroom.  They believe this is the image of Jefferson Davis, who in life, spent much of his week at Sutherlin Mansion staring out his bedroom window, no doubt contemplating his fate and that of his country...and perhaps keeping an eye out for anyone wishing to do him harm.

While Davis is definitely the most prominent haunting at the site, it seems as if the home may also host a female phantom.  Visitors claim to have seen the image of a young girl standing in a mirror, and have also heard her moaning coming from an upstairs bedroom at night.

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