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Monday, October 15, 2012

Haunted Alabama - Kenworthy Hall (aka Carlisle Hall)

 
Location: Marion, Alabama, USA

History:
Edward Kenworthy Carlisle (born 1810 near Augusta, Georgia) was an established cotton planter, and, in 1858, decided to build a large country estate. On May 4th, 1858, Carlisle wrote a letter that requested for help designing a large house, as he was "at a loss for a plan". Over the corse of several months, plans for what would be entitled "Kenworthy Hall" began to evolve. After a hard time finding skilled enough workers, Carlisle eventually found master mason Phillip Bond in November of the same year. Building began; Bond had estimated that the brickwork would be finished by June, 1859. The Carlisle family moved into the house by 1860, two years after the original plan. Even though the Civil War began in 1861, Carlisle continued to have a lot of success in his businesses. Amazingly, one of his cotton trading firms, Carlisle and Humphries, had an increased profit during the Union's blockade. After the war, though, his fortune took a turn for the worse, as his property was valued less than $20,000, and lowered to $9,000 in 1867. Carlisle entered into a business with his son, Edward Carlisle Jr., and his son-in-law, Alexander Jones, in Selma, a nearby town; they founded the City National Bank in 1871. However, Carlisle died in 1873, which left his property to his wife Lucinda. Also having a home in Selma, Lucinda lived in both homes back and forth, but decided to use Kenworthy Hall as a summer getaway home. In 1899, she gave the home to her single surviving child, Augusta Carlisle Jones. Thirteen years later, in 1912, Lucinda passed away, and in 1914, Augusta sold the property. Kenworthy Hall changed hands a large number of times, and went downhill; it lost the original porches, and went totally vacant for much of the 1950s. The house suffered from severe vandalism; the plasterwork was deformed, marble mantles were destroyed, and the stained glass was ruined beyond repair. During the various times of being totally empty, the locals began to say that the house was haunted. One of these stories was rewritten by Kathryn Tucker Windham in the short story called "The Faithful Vigil at Carlisle Hall" in 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. The ghost story states that a ghost of a young woman (possibly Lucinda) in the fourth floor tower room awaits her lover (Mr. Carlisle). It was later bought by various people who intended on restoring it. A family that moved in in 1967 died shortly afterwards, but their heirs inherited it. They sold it in 2001 to a new family. Now, Kenworthy Hall is part of the National Historic Landmark list, inducted on August 18th, 2004.
 
Key Points
  • Edward Kenworthy Carlisle decides to build a large country estate in 1858.
  • Hires Phillip Bond to build it in November, 1858.
  • Carlisle moves into house by 1860.
  • Cotton biz remained successful throughout Civil War despite the Union's blockade.
  • After the war, success goes down and his property is worth only $9,000 by 1867.
  • Carlisle dies in 1873, leaving property to wife, Lucinda.
  • Lucinda dies in 1912.
  • House is vacant through the 1950s.
  • Now historic landmark.

Key People
  • Edward Kenworthy Carlisle - Owner of Kenworthy Hall
  • Lucinda Carlisle - Edward's wife
  • Phillip Bond - Builder/designer of the hall
  • Augusta Carlisle Jones - Edward's daughter
External Links:

7 comments:

  1. Cool looking building! You have a nice clean blog...very easy to access great information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We here at Ghostly World want to make your blog haunting experience happy.
      - Ghostly World

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  2. So nice to meet you. Looking forward to being your newest follower.
    Thank you for finding me so I could find your very interesting site.
    Maggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to meet you, too! I'm glad you enjoy our blog as much as we do yours.
      - Ghostly World

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  3. I appreciate your love for old decrepid buildings. If you haven't seen it before I recommend this site: http://www.opacity.us/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting! I'm interested in history...its like reading a story, but it actually happened. Old buildings can just tell such a story. Thanks for the link. I have not been to that site before, and I'll definetly check out what it has to offer. I like http://forgottenusa.com, but I'm always looking for additional sources. My main blog, http://ghostlyworld.wordpress.com, has a lot more posts than this one if you'd like to check it out. Have a hauntingly nice day!
      - Ghostly World

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  4. What an awesome mansion! I was in it when it was on the Christmas tour a few years ago!!
    Mindy Thomas

    ReplyDelete