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A Haunting in Caledonia

Updated on July 18, 2011

Eyewitness to History

If the Caledonia Wine Cottage’s walls could talk, it would surely tell a tale that would prick up the ears and beckon the eager listener to lean forward, not wanting to miss a single word of the epic account. The walls would relate a saga filled with historical events; such as thousands of Cherokee being force marched on their Trail of Tears and brother killing brother in the tragedy of the American Civil War.

Through its 185 years, this house has witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly. Many lives have been sheltered by its warmth and many have expelled their last breath within its walls. On at least one occasion, that breath was taken from someone by another through violent and cruel means.

This is the Caledonia Wine Cottage – and it wants to talk to you.

Jacob Fisher

In 1824, Jacob Fisher bought Lot #18 (now 128 S. State Hwy 21) in the newly formed township of Caledonia, Missouri. There, with the help of slave labor, he built a large 12-room 3-story house. Underneath the house, a dirt floor basement with three tunnels: two leading to the houses on each side and one to a nearby creek. The tunnels were for the slaves to use to get from workplace to workplace. Later, they are thought to be used as part of the Underground Railroad. These tunnels have since been filled in.

In January 1829, Jacob Fisher fled town after brutally beating a female slave to death. Here is the coroner’s report:

“I was summoned in the jury of inquest to take up the body of Patience, a black woman slave of Jacob Fisher and found her to have one bone broke in her left arm and both in her right arm and [a] cut above her right eye, apparently done with the stroke of a stick and her left ear mashed, and hinder part off and the back of her neck broke and a large bruise on her right hip, and I concluded that she was killed by her master.”

-- Signed by William Wood on January 6, 1829.

Fisher never returned to Caledonia and had all his property sold via an appointed agent. It is believed he moved to Mississippi.

Trail of Tears Monument in Caledonia, Missouri
Trail of Tears Monument in Caledonia, Missouri

The Trail of Tears

In November 1837, the house in Caledonia witnessed another tragic event – the Cherokee’s Trail of Tears. More than 16,000 Cherokees were wrenched out of their land and forced to march 900 miles to a new territory. 4,000 did not make it to the end. The northern segment of the trail passed through Caledonia, MO.

A monument was erected at the north edge of Caledonia.

Battle of Pilot Knob

On September 27 1864, Major General Sterling Price (Confederate Army of Missouri) attacked Fort Davidson (just outside of Pilot Knob, MO). This was a stepping stone toward his ultimate goal of St. Louis, MO.

The attack was furious but the Union troops at the fort, led by Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, held until dusk. The Confederates regrouped, planning a dawn attack to complete the mission of taking the fort. Ewing had other plans though. Under the cover of night, Ewing ordered his men out of Fort Davidson to rendevoux with the Union forces in St. Louis. They took all supplies with them, leaving the fort empty for the Confederates. Well, not quite empty. They also left a slow burning fuse leading to the fort’s powder magazine. With Ewing’s men at a safe distance, the powder ignited with a monsterous explosion. Thinking that the Yankees must have accidentely set off some munitions within their fort, the Confederates did not investigate until the morning. Upon their early reconnaissance at dawn, they found Fort Davidson empty.

With the losses of the previous day, General Price did not have enough men to continue to St. Louis. He turned toward the west, where he was eventually defeated.

During the Battle of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob, the wounded from both sides were treated at a make-shift hospital in Caledonia. Of course, that hospital is the house that would eventually become the Caledonia Wine Cottage. Diseased soldiers were quarantined in a locked bedroom on the third floor. A hole (still present today) was cut in the bedroom door to pass food and water. In the basement, recovered Confederate soldiers were kept prisoner. Bars on the basement windows remain to this day.

The Basement
The Basement

The Ramsey Family

William and Hallie Ramsey owned the house for the most part of the later 20th Century. Sometime in 1976, William passed away inside the house while resting on the couch. Hallie spent her final days tending to her garden and reading the newspaper while watching the cars go by up on the second floor balcony. In August 1993, she passed away while resting in her favorite chair after a day of gardening.


Present Day

After a brief time as an antique shop, the house was purchased by Pepper Carpenter and Dave Buis in September 2006. After some renovations, they opened the Caledonia Wine Cottage on August 31, 2007. It serves as a restaurant, bed & breakfast and wine shop.

Several unexplained happenings have been reported in the house: four to five different people have heard an elderly woman’s voice say “hello”, a shadowy man that looks to be wearing a Civil War uniform has been sighted multiple times, footsteps have been heard on floors that were void of people and corks have popped out of non-carbonated wine bottles.

The St. Louis Ghosthunters completed an investigation on May 31st and are currently reviewing the evidence.

Caledonia Wine Cottage
Caledonia Wine Cottage

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    • profile image

      Jennifer Tyler 3 years ago

      I am actually looking to buy this house and live in it, I can't wait to write a book about my soon to be new home :)

    • profile image

      Cassidy 5 years ago

      I have heard stories about a girl being hit by a car waiting for the bus Amanda Midlock who as I was told died on the front porch is there any truth to this? crhodes1988@ymail.com

    • profile image

      Campbell05 5 years ago

      does anyone know if there are tours of this place available?

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Hey great Hub! Voted Up and Awesome!

    • goody7 profile image

      goody7 6 years ago from over there under the sycamore tree

      I know this hub has been around for a while, but I just finished reading it and it's one of the best. This story really fascinates me, and I put a link to your hub from my own ghostly hub. Hopefully this will help pick your traffic back up some. If you don't like the link, then please let me know & I'll remove it for you. Keep on hubbing.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      Really gripping read. I went cold just reading it. really well written. Great job.

    • profile image

      Lady_Tenaz 6 years ago

      This was great!

    • freshlaundry71 profile image

      freshlaundry71 6 years ago

      Great and informative..I love haunted house stories..something about getting the pee scared out of you is worth it! Keep them coming!!

    • IntimatEvolution profile image

      Julie Grimes 7 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

      Love the hub! I must drive up and visit. Thanks for the information.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Shawna!

    • profile image

      shawna  7 years ago

      hello my family is from Calidonia and we actually use to live right now the street form this house Calidonia is a very small town but a town with a lot of history there are several suspected haunted places in calidonia and or around it. i am happy to see someone taking an intrest in my home town

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks for coming back deepanjana.

    • deepanjana profile image

      deepanjana 7 years ago

      This is the second time i am reading this hub. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Lake Ozark Rentals 7 years ago

      What an interesting story.

    • XTASIS profile image

      XTASIS 8 years ago from The Beginning

      I love haunted houses'stories. This one was great!Thank you!

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

      An interesting read and the photographs really added to the story.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I do not really believe in ghost haunting myself, but several people are convinced our local library is haunted.

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Great hub - thoroughly enjoyed the read...more please!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Suzanne. I'm a regular Carl Kolchak.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      How interesting, and what a great old house! Good reporting! :)

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Lucey.

    • Lucey Knight profile image

      Lucey Knight 8 years ago from North Richland Hills, Texas

      Excellent hub. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Ashley.

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 8 years ago

      Great read! I was acutally born in Mo and had no idea about this place.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Benz B.

    • Benz B profile image

      Benz B 8 years ago

      awesome hub. was a great read. nicely done.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Damn you!!!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter and Twitter :D

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      No! I am soooo sick of hearing about fucking Twitter!!!!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Yeah it's so good it's the only movie on my iPod - don't ask me why.

      Got the FB thing, but my browser refuses to work on multiple windows. I'll check on it later. Btw, do you Twit too?

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Good movie!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      That'd be great - a winning hub waiting to happen if you ask me. And so you know, I included Blairwitch Project in my all time 20 most fave movies hub. This stuff is a guilty pleasure! :D

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I was thinking about that but I have to wait until the evidence review is done.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Maybe you should hub about your personal experiences going into the place. Like a personal sorta-like-a-documentary kind of thing.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I took all the pics of the house except the B & W one.  I actually went down in that basement in the middle of the night with only a red tinted flashlight.  The basement is a lot bigger than it looks in that pic.  It goes back quite a ways.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks KCC. I had photo adding problems. I finally fixed it so I should be publishing more.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      dork

      Yep, the pics are worth the wait! Geez man, the first pic gives me the creeps - the "invisible" is almost visible. And the basement, too - my imagination is on overdrive and I'm not liking it one bit!

      Can't wait for the findings - yes, you'd better share. I didn't get this worked up for nothing! :D

      ps check your inbox too

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Fascinating stuff Imadork! I've missed your hubs! Keep 'em coming!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thank you Teresa.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      It is sobering but wise to record and remember all such brutal incidents in history, so that we may honor the victims and hopefully prevent further cruelties. This was a great read -- well written and very engaging. Thank you.

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Gypsy Willow: I cannot think of any country that doesn't have blood on its hands.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      What terrible events this place "witnessed" the history of the USA is drenched in blood. A chirpy hub next please!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks TamCor. I'll add pics as soon as I fix whatever is wrong.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      And I thought some elements are missing - the pictures! Be sure to update this when you have your computer fixed. Just thinking about the pictures... Damn!

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 8 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      It would be a fun place to visit, for many a reason. :D

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      I'm with Cris--it was fascinating to read about this place...and I can't wait to see your pics, and the findings from the Ghosthunters crew!

    • imadork profile image
      Author

      imadork 8 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks Cris.  I wanted to put some pics up but something is wrong with my computer.  I can't add pics to my new hubs!  That's one of the reasons I haven't published anything in awhile. The pics I took of the basement are creepy!

      I will probably put an update on this hub with the findings.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      dork

      This was a great read. I had goosebumps when I read that William Wood signed his report on January 6 - my bday! Okay, maybe I'm over reacting! Anyway will you be hubbing about STLGH's findings?

      I like your narrative on this one. :D