“Visitors Hope for a Chloe Sighting at the Myrtles Plantation”
I grew up in the midwest with family farms stretching across the flat lands of Illinois. Since moving ‘down south’, visiting historic plantations and learning about the culture of the time is one of my favorite tourist play days. There are a dozen or so plantations within driving distance of my home. Visiting each one brings a new level of understanding of southern culture and the families and slaves that shaped its history.
The Myrtles Plantation often called “one of America’s most haunted homes.” In the historic town of St. Francisville, LA, it was build circa 1796 in the antebellum style. General David Bradford built the plantation after he escaped imprisonment in the north for his leading role in the “Whiskey Rebellion“. At that time Louisiana was under Spanish rule. He was given a Spanish land grant for 650 acres. He was eventually pardoned for his role in the rebellion.
Although stories passed over the generations have found some exaggerations, they continue to draw curious visitors. Stories say 10 murders have happened there, but William Drew Winter death, is the only verifiable murder. Shot by a stranger, he staggered inside and died on the 17th step of the staircase. Many say they still hear his foot steps.
The story of Chloe, a house slave, who accidentally killed the Sara Bradford Woodruff and two of her children, keep the bed and breakfast rooms rented as visitors hope to experience the ‘extraordinary’. Chloe thought she was losing her place in the home after they caught her eavesdropping. To prove her usefulness, she made a cake with adding oleander, a poisonous plant. She thought if she could make the family sick and tend to them, they wouldn’t send her to the fields to work. Instead, Sara and the children died. They hanged Chloe from the front oak tree and thrown into the Mississippi River. The sightings of a woman with a green turban is thought to be Chloe.
The tour of the home does not allow photography except in the hallway where the grand mirror hangs. I’m always disappointed when an attraction restricts photography, because I love sharing the unique furnishings of the times. Many plantations only have minimal original pieces from the homes I visit. Most have gathered pieces from the era from other places. Seeing pieces from the original owners gives the tour a more personal feeling.
The mirror at the Myrtles is known for the unusual markings behind the glass. Handprints within the upper right corner of the mirror are the extraordinary artifacts that defy explanation. Cleaning it and replacing the glass has not worked to remove the images.
I took many photos of the mirror. I was trying to get one visitor free. After 9-10 shots, the last photos where the best ones. When I got home and downloaded my photos, the last 5, ‘the best ones’ were completely white/blank. I was so disappointed! The above shot doesn’t do the mirror justice.
My camera had never malfunctioned before and has never since. Coincidence? What do you think?
The Myrtles Plantation is a must see when you visit Louisiana. St. Francisville has a several other plantations in the area. Watch for them in upcoming posts as part of my plantation series.Myrtles Plantation Tour info: Historic Tours Daily: 9 AM TO 5:00 PM, Every hour & half hour; $10 per person, $7 Children 12 & under Mystery Tours: Friday & Saturday Evenings at 6, 7 & 8 PM; $12 per person, RESERVATIONS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED 7747 Highway 61 PO Box 1100 St. Francisville, Louisiana 70775
Phone: 225.635.6277 Myrtles Plantation St. Francisville Louisiana St. Francisville Plantations – open for tour David Bradford House