Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waldomore Mansion in Clarksburg

Waldo P. Goff
Waldomore Mansion is a neo-classical home, built in Clarksburg, WV for Waldo P. Goff and his wife, Harriet Moore.  Born in New York, Goff later moved to the area and served on the Virginia State Senate between 1833 and 1837.  Named for a combination of both his and his wife's names, Waldomore was completed around 1839 and stayed in the family for almost a century.

Then, on August 3, 1930, The Goffs' daughter, May Goff Lowndes, passed away and deeded the family home to the city of Clarksburg for the use of either a library or a museum...and nothing more.  This was the home May was born in on December 25, 1839 and was very specific in how she wanted the home used after her death.

The city complied, and in 1931 the Harrison County Public Library moved in under the direction of librarian Miss S. Scollay Page.  Miss Page managed the library until 1938 when she retired.  She passed away in October the following year.  However, the library remained.  After being established with the help of Mrs. Julia Walker Ruhl in 1907, it had hopped from building to building until it was blessed with its permanent home in the Waldomore Estate.  There it flourished until 1976.

Growing needs of a growing city resulted in the need for more library space, so a modern facility was built on the property, directly beside the Waldomore Mansion.  The mansion, in turn, was converted into meeting space, and the new home the West Virginia history/genealogy collection of the library.  In 1978, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

And...somewhere along its long history, its picked up a ghost!

Susan Carleton writes excellent articles on the paranormal side of Clarksburg for Examiner.com and hers is the first mention of the haunting I've seen online.  According to Carleton, a woman in white is seen gazing out from the upstairs windows of the mansion.  In addition, in two separate incidents, the soft tinkling of several piano notes has come from the Steinway piano housed in the mansion.  When the librarian went to investigate, it was discovered that not only was the quilted cover still firmly in place over the piano, but that the room it was in was locked!

From the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library

So who could this ghostly woman (and possibly piano player) be?  There's at least four good candidates, just discussed in this short blog!

Could it be Harriet Moore, whom the house was built AND named for?  Or could it be her daughter, May Goff Lowndes, whose dream of seeing the home turned into a library and/or museum has come to fruition and remains so, even after all these years?

Possibly, instead of being connected to the family, our female ghost is connected to the library itself!  Julia Walker Ruhl was instrumental in starting the library and most likely would be overjoyed with the fact that after several decades of "homelessness," the library found a wonderful permanent home.  It may also be Miss S. Scollay Page, a life-long librarian who oversaw the actual move of the library into the mansion.

I strongly suggest that if you are in the area, go check out this wonderfully historic resource.  Oh, and there's also an added bonus that I didn't mention....

As part of the West Virginia collection, the Waldomore Mansion houses the Gray Barker UFO Files!!!  Check out this special collection of hundreds of books, magazines, photos, files, and even props from the famous West Virginia UFO researcher and author.  It is open during normal business hours or by special appointment.

2 comments:

  1. Waldo is my ggg uncle. I have been to Waldomore and truly enjoyed the tour.

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    Replies
    1. Nice! In your opinion, do you think your relative may still be haunting the place?

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