Saturday, August 10, 2013

Maryland's Kitty Knight House Inn and Restaurant

Photo by: ADLEMA GREGORY-BUNNELL
It's a spooky, wet Saturday morning here in the tri-state!  In order to help brighten your day, today's post is another installment in the Haunted America series.  Here's a quick peek at the history and haunts of Maryland's Kitty Knight House Inn and Restaurant.  Enjoy!

Catherine "Kitty" Knight was born around 1775 to John and Katherine Knight, prominent citizens within the Georgetown, Maryland community.  Tall, graceful, and known for her distinctly tall Colonial-style hair-do, Kitty was quite the beauty.  But, she was also an accomplished, brave, and arguably stubborn woman as well.  Those traits would pay off, however, during the War of 1812.

During the war, many of the town's younger men were off fighting the British, leaving behind the women and the elderly to defend the town.  On May 6, 1813 the British, under Admiral Cockburn stormed the Georgetown area with torches lit.  Many of the citizens had fled, but not Kitty....and not an elderly woman who lived in one of two brick homes built atop a hill overlooking the Sassafras River.  Soldiers were ordered to burn these two homes as well, and had actually already set flames to the home of the elderly woman.  Twice, it is said that Kitty stamped the flames out, all the while pleading and begging with Admiral Cockburn to spare the woman's home, as she was too sick and elderly to flee.  

No one knows exactly what it was that convinced him, but Admiral Cockburn finally was convinced and moved by Kitty's bravery.  He spared the homes, as well as several others and a church, and ordered his men out of Georgetown.

Later, Kitty would actually purchase one of these homes she bravely saved, and in 1924 and 1929 a Washington County native by the name of Herbert G. Stine purchased both it and its neighboring house on the hill.  He combined and remodeled the two homes, one built between 1773 and 1783 by Archibald Wright, which are today collectively known as the Kitty Knight  House Inn and Restaurant.  A beautiful facility with a beautiful past, the Kitty Knight House also boasts a resident ghost--none other than Kitty Knight herself.

Kitty makes her presence known in a variety of ways.  Those more visually sensitive have seen a woman in 19th century clothing descending a staircase in the home.  Others have seen a similarly shaped shadow flitting by in the dining area.  Doors open and close on their own accord, and often, staff will notice lights turned on in rooms that are not currently occupied.  When they go to turn them off, they find that the light is no longer on.  In one specific incident, a travel writer staying at the hotel was astounded when the innkeeper showed her her room, and the door closed by itself on her.  It is stated that this is how Kitty shows that she likes you!

Apparently the entire staff is very friendly and welcoming of questions about their resident spirit, so if you find yourself in the Georgetown area in need of lodging or just a hot meal, stop by the Kitty Knight House Inn and Restaurant; you're guaranteed a spooky good time!

Sources:
Writing the Vision (The HAUNTED history of the inn by Mindie B.)

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