Jan 28, 2020
This story comes from Spirits of Frederick by Alyce T. Weinburg… the images are not mine, I got them off the web.
“Whose ghost is haunting Historical Society building at 24 East Church Street [Frederick, MD]? And are there others? One has seen seven, but other strange things are happening.”
Daniel Gibbs, aged 14 at the time, and Charles Helfenstein, aged 15, were summer volunteers and talk about “a lady in whit”. Dan entered an attic storage room, the summer before, and was startled to see a mysterious woman. She was also surprised!
“She was all dressed in white and the sun shining through the window on her hair made it look auburn. her clothes were old-fashioned, high necked, floor length with long sleeves. Her face was pale…hair in a bun.”
In this same storage room, old lace curtains are moved from table to chair, there are three empty stagecoach, paper-lined trunks that are also moved.
There’s an old, broken, hand-cranked style Columbia Grafanola that plays “Avalon” when no one is around. The song was popular in the 1920’s. There are graffiti scratchings on the wall that are faded, drawings and names dating to who knows when. The historical society has restored parts of the house, but “Bad Audvey” (Audrey?), “Shirley Aulene, Ohio”, “I love” and “David” can still be clearly seen. They say there’s one room that had four bathing stalls and someone older always sat outside to keep order. Could this be the lady in white?
The building is over 180 years old, built in 1834 for Dr. John Baltzell and has some unusual features. It boasts a hanging staircase that floats to the roof and has a beautiful paneled entrance hall that is considered federal style. John Loats was the last owner of the house before bequething it to Evangelical Lutheran Church at his death. At that time, it was named the Loats Female Orphanage, operating from 1879-1958. In 1958 the Historical society bought it.
The girls could stay until the age of 18. Mrs. Kitty White Kaufman, who lived there, said the girls felt loved. She was the eldest of three sisters who lived there after their mother died.
There are – or were – many books, records and pictures that require organization. The building is now home to the Historical Society of Frederick County.
No respectable 150 year old mansion in Frederick County is home without a ghost.
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