Cragfont

I went to see my nephew yesterday and he is just so adorable. I can’t even tell you. He has one very light, but very bushy eyebrow. He may also have another, but where I was sitting and the lightness of the eyebrow made it hard to see the other. He makes cute little snores.

The Butcher’s Wife and I contemplated whether the Butcher can read minds or is just super empathetic and where the line is between those two things.

Then I went with some friends who have a podcast to Cragfont, a creepy old house up in Sumner County and it was delightfully and sufficiently spooky. I’ll link to the podcast when it goes live, because I was on it! Talking about festering crotch wounds and old Tennessee history and creepy things. All my favorites.

So, Cragfont was built by the Winchesters. General Winchester was a buddy of Andrew Jackson and he and Jackson and Judge Overton went and founded Memphis. Winchester’s son was Memphis’s first mayor. Jackson’s protege was Sam Houston. Sam Houston’s ex-wife, Eliza Allen (Houston Douglass) stayed with the Winchesters often enough that her silver tea cup is still in the house.

Winchester also owned a bunch of flatboats he hauled stuff back and forth to New Orleans on. One of his primary exports to New Orleans was bacon. And, I would imagine, other cured pig products.

This was also some of the early work of the Franklin family. And remember, the Franklins and the Douglasses were all intermarried. Also, Isaac Franklin’s mother was a Lauderdale and the Lauderdales were just east of the Winchesters.

I felt like I was hearing a story the Franklins figured into, but without hearing the Franklins properly figured in.

Anyway, we did have one strange experience in the house. I won’t spoil the podcast by telling you what it was, but I will note that one of the pictures in this bunch shows the location of the strangeness. Since it’s October, you should see if you get a spooky vibe off of any of them and give it a guess.

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3 thoughts on “Cragfont

  1. Have you got any idea whether those Winchesters were related to Jesse Winchester? It was always said that his father’s family was connected to the Lees of VA.

    Also, I don’t know which is the spooky picture, but I wonder about George Winchester. In what way was he “murdered” rather than “killed fighting”?

  2. I don’t know. This Winchester’s father was an immigrant from England, but they didn’t say anything about where his brothers ended up.

    As for George, I took it to mean he was killed in an ambush, rather than having a chance to shoot back. I see this a lot in Middle Tennessee history where, if a white person goes to an Indian village and gets killed, that’s “killed fighting” but if the Native Americans come to his house and kill him, that’s a “murder,” even though it’s all happening during an ongoing war between them.

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