Marshall Governor’s Mansion, February 8, 2014

Case Background and Claims:100_2061

There is allegedly a spirit of a young girl that plays in the bushes outside of the museum and a maid in the home fell to her death from the spiral staircase in the main room.

The structure itself was built in 1839 by Mr. James Wright Gordon on the premise that Marshall was to become the next Capital for the State of Michigan.  After the mansion was built, Lansing was decided to be the state capital.  The mansion is equipped with two staircases, one for the families use and one that goes to the servant’s quarters.  There is a kitchen, dining room, living room, and foyer on the first level and 2-3 bedrooms on  the second story and a servant’s quarters.  The servant’s quarters is connected to one bedroom by a little door.

Mr JW Gordon was said to be from Plainfield, CT. He was born in 1809.  In 1840 he ran for Lt Governor of Michigan.  J W Gordon fell to his death in 1853 while working as a US Consul in Pernambuco, Brazil.  He accidentally fell to his death from a second story balcony.  He is buried in Brazil.

Source:  “Gordon, Hon James Wright, of Marshall, Michigan, was born in 1809 in Planfield, Windham Co, CT.  His father was a Brigade Quartermaster in President Adams’ standing army.  He was a (?) politician, and a gentleman through culture.  He removed to Geneva, Ontario County, NY, with his family, to whom he gave every advantage for education.  After graduating at Harvard College, Mr. J W Gordon was, for a time, Professor at Geneva.  While there he studied law and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in New York.  In 1835 he established himself permanently in Marshall, Michigan.  In 1839 he was elected the second Lieutenant Governor of the State.  Governor Woodbridge was soon after elected, by the Legislature, United States Senator, and Mr. Gordon because the acting Governor.  He was a candidate for United States Senator against Mr. Woodbridge, during a campaign of considerable excitement.  He represented Calhoun County in both branches of the State Legislature.  Mr. Gordon accepted the Counsel ship to South American, under General Taylor, hoping that change of climate would restore his failing health; but he died at his official post, in 1849 [Pernambuco, Brazil].  He was a man of great cultural ability and force of character and had already, although still in the prime of life, acquired distinction as a lawyer, public speaker, and politician.  He was an active worker in the Whig party.  Having been a pioneer of Western Michigan, he had extended acquaintances in the State and was destined, had he lived, to stand in the ceremonial ranks of Michigan’s great men.  He was a member of the Episcopal Church, in which was received his early religious training.  He wife, Mary Hudson of Geneva, NY, survives him.  His brother, Alexander Gordon, the leading farmer and largest land-owner in Calhoun County, now resides in Pennfield, ten miles from Marshall.  Mr. Gordon’s eldest son is studying law, in Chicago with the celebrated criminal lawyer, John Van Asmau (sp)” (American Biographical History of Eminent and Self and Self Made, pg 38)

Mary (Hudson) Gordon, wife of J W Gordon, was the daughter of Dr. Daniel Hudson and Mary Dey.  She died May 20, 1904 in Burlington, De Moines Co, IA and is buried in the Oakridge Cemetery, Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI.

Children:  Anna Augusta (Convis), Mary Virginia (Morrison), Catherine (Riley), Mary G, Edward K, Alfred H.

Dr Daniel Hudson and wife Mary (Dey) Hudson both came from Ontario County, NY.  “Daniel Hudson, a retired physician of Marshall, Michigan, was appointed Regent of the University (Michigan), February 20, 1840, to succeed Joseph W Brown resigned.  He died at Marshall shortly after the expiration of his term in 1841.”  History of the University of Michigan by Burke Aaron Hinsdale, pg 176

Dr. Hudson was born in 1787 and died 22 Feb 1865 in Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI.  His wife Mary was born in 1789 in NY and died 9 Sep 1850.  Both are buried in the Oakridge Cemetery, Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI

It is rumored that Dr Hudson treated people in the mansion during the fire of Perrinville where people were badly burned and may have died in the house.

Connection of the Gordon Family to the Convis Family

General Ezra Convis was a native of Silver Creek, Chautauqua County, New York. He moved to Michigan in 1834 settling first at Battle Creek and then moving north in 1835 to found the town of Verona. Ezra Convis was the first speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and the founder of Verona, Michigan.  He died in early 1838 as a result of a sleigh accident that occurred while he was returning from Detroit (then the capital of Michigan) from attending a wedding of a daughter of Mr. Ten Eyck in Dearborn. Gen. Ezra Convis, being a member of the Legislature at this time, introduced the bill organizing the current Convis township; but while the matter was pending, he met with an accident which caused his death, and the matter was taken up by another member, who suggested that the town take the name of Convis, in honor of the member who introduced the bill.

His son Ezra Convis (born 1830 NY) married Anna Gordon in 1856 in Marshall, MI. She was born in 1835 and died Dec 1899 in Hillsdale, Rock Island Co, IL.  Ezra died in 1868  and by 1870 Anna is living with her children in Illinois. In 1880 the family is in Lyon Twp, Cook Co, IL.  Both are buried in Oakridge Cemetery, Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI.   Child: James E Convis (b 1857 Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI)

1860c shows Ezra A. CONVIS, age 30, b. NY, living in household of Daniel HUDSON (age 73, b. NY, physician), 2nd ward, Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI. Also in household: Mary H. GORDON (age 43, b. NY); Anna CONVIS (age 24, b. MI); James E. CONVIS (age 3, b. MI); Catherine W. GORDON (age 22, b. MI); Mary V. GORDON (age 20, b. MI); Edward K. GORDON (age 13, b. MI); Alfred H. GORDON (age 11, b. MI).

Mary Virginia “Polly” Gordon (b 1841) married Robert K Morrison (b 1844) on 7 Mar 1869 in Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI.  Children:  Margaret, Elsie, Edward, Robert E.  This line moved to Clearwater, Kalkaska, MI.

According to research obtained through the library, On June 27, 1839 the property was bought by J. Wright Gordon from Sidney Ketchum.

On May 28, 1850 it was sold to Daniel Hudson…who then sold it back to Mary H. Gordon, on the same day.

There is also a record that on August 26, 1857 Mary bought lot 485 from Daniel Hudson.

On October 19, 1882 Mary H. Gordon sold lot 485 to William J. Dibble.

On November 15, 1886 William and M.A. Dibble sold lot 485 to Samuel French.

On February 23, 1887 Samuel French sold 485 to Mrs. Elizabeth L. Kelly.

On July 4, 1892 Mrs. Elizabeth L. Kelly sold the lot to Mrs. Clara E. Hazzard.

On July 21, 1894 an heir of Clara E. Hazzard sold lot 485 to Thomas E. Breakey.

This is where things get a little jumbled. Lot 485 is the one with the house, and it was often bought and sold with the adjacent lot, 484. On August 18, 1894 Thomas sells lot 484 to Lettie Rosa (Roosa), who is the one found on the census in 1900. It is possible that he just sold her that land, and rented but kept ownership of the house. On May 31, 1905 he sold lot 485 to Maria R. Breakey (not sure what their relationship was: husband/wife, father/daughter, brother/sister, etc). From here I lost track of lot 485. I only looked up to the mid-1930s because of time, but I can do some more research next week. Lot 484 was sold by Lettie Roosa on May 22, 1902 to a Hattie H. Palmer.

Hattie Palmer was the maiden name of the eventual occupant and owner of the house when it was sold to the DAR, I am curious if maybe this is actually the lot that the house is on.

1900  Widow Noma Roosa (Mrs Moses), daughter Nettie Roosa, Henry Taylor, Wanda Taylor, Hattie B, Greg, and Lillian Taylor.  The Roosas are buried in Hillsdale, MI

1909 Jerome and Flora Palmer living on property. In the 1920c the mansion appears to be owned by Flora Palmer (Mrs. Jerome).  Her husband Jerome was a Civil War veteran and died on 30 July 1909 and they were living in the home at the time of his death.  He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.  Their daughter Bertha (Palmer) Brady is living in the home at that time. Both were widows on the census. In the 1930c we find Flora Palmer still in the house and has renters Hazen O. Burus and his wife Inez, living at the mansion. Hazen’s step-son’s name is William Coppernoll. Hazen was a veteran of WWI. 1931 City Directory – Flora Palmer. Ms Flora Palmer died 24 April 1946 in Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI and is buried in Oakridge Cemetery, Marshall, Calhoun Co, MI.  Her daughter Bertha Palmer Brady died 1 Sep 1966 in Battle Creek, MI.

Bertha Brady’s heirs gave the home to the DAR starting in 1967 and paperwork was completed in 1969.The Daughters of the American Revolution (Mary Marshall Chapter) acquired the mansion and have it as a usable museum for all to use and learn about history.

Claims:

The members of the Mary Marshall Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, claimed to have experienced the door near the servants stairway opening on its own and the servant’s room, the bed comes undone. 100_2065

According to the Marshall Carriage and Ghost Tours, there was allegedly a servant that fell down the stairway to her death.  There is also the spirit of a child hiding in the bushes of the Governor’s mansion.

Investigation:

  • Investigators: John, Cas, and Brenda; DAR Member Patty and Guest Alyssa
  • Researchers:  Heather and Brenda
  • Weather: 12 F, Snow, winds SSW 4 mph
  • Moon Phase: First Quarter
  • Inside Temperature: 52.7 F with 86% humidity
  • Air Particle Count: 248139

100_2071Living Room:

Our team began the investigation in the living room.

The MEL meter registered a drop in temperature from 63F to 60.8F and an EMF went to a 2.0.

John had two recorders and both were shut off with 90% battery power.  The first recorder turned off after 31 minutes 21 seconds and the other after 46 minutes.

In the beginning session at 11:14 seconds John got an EVP stating, “Honey.”

We believe to come in contact with a female and or a child.  The Ovilus came up with the word “Wall” and Patty pointed out the Mourning Hair Wreath on the wall (see photo). The word mourning came up previous to the “wall” word.  The word tools came up when asking how they rolled the hair.  Flashlight confirmation all came on as a yes response.100_2080

We believed the K-II meter went off and we asked if they could light the meter up higher and the word “Shall” came up.

Patty asks at one point if this is Jerome Palmer, “Halt” comes up on the Ovilus and John’s recorder shuts off at 90% battery power.

Whomever we were in contact, stated “celebration” on the Ovilus and we asked if they like it when the ladies have parties here.  Flashlight confirmation was received.

When asked if you liked what the ladies have done with the home “everything” came up on the Ovilus.

Patty asked if you open the back room to the kitchen and “Do” came up.

Alyssa asked if you mess up the bed in the maid’s room and the word “roll” came up.

John then has a cold breeze go past him and the MEL meter registered a temperature difference.  His flashlight then goes on up on the stairway.

We may have across an entity that had not crossed over.  The words Angels, Alcohol, Rates, Saint, Blood came up on the Ovilus.  We could not get a sign from the entity to help them cross over.  Whomever we were speaking to stated they are safe where they currently are.

0.5 63.3 Degrees Flashlight responses began.  When the word “mean” came up on the Ovilus something ran past my fast.  When we asked if Patty was mean, the flashlight lit up.  Then the word Banshee came up.

A male voice is faintly heard when Alyssa said, “You have that witch hat in your car

Brenda is trying to figure out who we are talking to and Brenda asks, “Is your picture with the woman above the stairway?” and John got an EVP saying “Yes” (JW Gordon’s picture is there).JW Gordon

We believe to get in contact with Mrs. Bertha Brady.

The Spirit Box was used during this time to get more contact with entities present. When asked how many entities were present we got “five.”  Too much interference was coming through so we ended the session.

John had a cold breeze go past John’s face during the Spirit Box Session.

“Throw” came up and John attempted to get the entity throw the ball he placed on the upper level.

Brenda was able to see a shadow figure of a young child peeking down at us at the top of the stairs.

43 Minutes into the session, “Alcohol” kept coming up so John started talking about the Abolitionist Groups in the area to see if that would stir up some activity.  When John said “she’s going to go in and bust your bars up.  No more beer” a noise was heard by all in the room.

John has movement to his left (he was in the doorway from the living room into the Foyer).

When John and Cas talk about going out for drinks, Brenda’s ears started to ring.  Then John asks, “Would you like to go to the bar or stay with the ladies” Patty laughs and John heard something when she was laughing.

Since communication was a little hard, John started using a crystal for communication.  It is believed the entities can vibrate the crystal and move it for Yes/No answers.  The Crystal determined that the entity wanted help crossing and wanted one of the males to assist.  We determined it was an adult female asking for help.  This lady was not the one suffering from alcohol but someone close to her was.  She was not able to cross over into the light and stated she was ready to cross.  The female lived in the home at one time.

When asked if you are from the Gordon Family and Female voice is captured but what she is saying is hard to understand.  When asked if she was Mrs. Convis it was determined “Yes.”  Anna was not crossed over due to not being able to acknowledge us by turning off the light by John.  Anna appeared to be apprehensive and then wanted Brenda to help her.

Brenda and Alyssa’s ears began ringing during this session.Jerome  Palmer

John gave Alyssa a Parabolic Ear to see if she could hear things in the room.

We lost some contact but was able to gather some EVP’s

When moving upstairs (Brenda, Patty and Alyssa), John’s recorder caught a male whisper.

Shadow figures were seen by multiple team members and feelings of someone walking past us

Ovilus Readings in the Living Room:

Road, took, small, then, block, Diablo, were, steam, put, mourning, minutes, LMAO, normal, Banshee, Rub, Roll, Tools, Father, Chimp, Shall, Space, Celebration, Everything. That, Legion, North, Halt, Try, Then, Due/Do, Roll, Put, Why, Try, Angels, Alcohol, Rates, Saint, Blood, Gate, Coffee, Rub, Throw, Mean, Banshee, Wall, Why, With, Halt, Render, Ask, Held, Cool, Signal, LMAO, Throw, Why, Home, Alcohol, Father, Put, Saint, Signal, Held, Near, Throw, System, Just, Cancer, Near Dear, Share, Space, System, Than, Yield, Just, System, Near Dear, Wall, System, Celebrate, Minister, Yard, Want, Periodic, Roll

Upper Level Investigation:

EMF 0.0  Temperature 63.1F

K-II pulsated between the first and second light.  EMF rises to 0.4

K-II was shut off due to being too erratic.

While there Brenda was feeling weird and it may be due to high EMF in the area.

All members were present upstairs

The Ovilus said “Pants” and there is a display in the room of some pants.

When Brenda refers to women as being fluffy, the Ovilus says “Why?”

John’s camera turns off during the session with 186 minutes left on the battery.

While upstairs, Brenda and team could hear footsteps on the main floor (this was not caught on the recorder)

While doing the Spirit Box Brenda asks “Are you a baby?” and the box says “Baby.”  We believe we were communicating with a 2 year old named Timmy.

John and Cas experienced cold breezes when trying to get the child to interact with them.  Brenda tries to get the entity to touch and pinch Cas. Cas was able to feel cold and then the light turned on as commanded.

We believe a child entity was trying to talk to us and began talking about his pet.  We asked if he had a dog and the word “Male” came up on the Ovilus.

Cancer came up over and over throughout the night (Jerome Palmer died of cancer) We believe we made contact with Jerome Palmer and he is still here waiting for someone.

There was movement in the room straight across from the stairway.

11:00 pm Cold movement continued to go through the area John was sitting (Stairway to the bedroom).

While John was changing the video, we capture and EVP as if someone is knocking on the door downstairs.

We started getting the same words and responses which made us think someone was “playing” with us.

“Cancer” and “Father” continued to come up on the Ovilus so we attempted to see if one of our fathers were present with us.  We were unable to do so.

We were unable to determine who the entity was on the upper level at the end of the session.

Ended session about 12:00 am

EVP’s obtained through Paranormal Investigation:

“Honey.” Class B EVP. While John is sitting in the Foyer and the rest of us are conducting the session in the Living Room, John’s recorder catches this EVP.

“John.” Class B EVP. We are all on the upper level and John makes a comment about the mannequin  in the room  calling it “Scary Sherry” and then this EVP was recorded.

“That.” Class B EVP. Our team was on the upper level talking to Alyssa about how long it takes to do an episode for  a show and John’s recorder caught this EVP.

“Not Now.” Class B EVP. Cas is attempting communication and an EVP responds to his attempts at communication.

* NOTE: One other paranormal team (Michigan Ghost Watchers) has been in the mansion to investigate before MCGH. They received one EVP saying “No.”

Video Evidence obtained during Paranormal Investigation:

Evidence Only Video

Full Investigation Video

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Conclusion:

It was truly a pleasure investigating the Governor’s Mansion. It seems the old building not only has a rich history but those who lived in the home are still watching over the property. It is the belief of the MCGH team that nothing in the home is harmful but the spirits only wish to remain in the majestic home they loved. MCGH will be happy to return if we are ever needed again.

Care to Comment?

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