When planning a wedding, many a bride has decided on Burge Plantation, a regal old home that sits just a bit off the road in Mansfield, surrounded by trees. The home is lovingly maintained, filled with antiques, and the perfect place to make memories. It's also home to several guests that usually aren't on the invitation list to the various functions held at Burge - ghosts who have roamed the property for hundreds of years.
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Built in the 1800s, Burge was first home to Wiley Burge and his family who purchased 202 acres in 1809. The first home was gone by 1840 and only the family graveyard remained when Thomas Burge inherited the land from his father. He built a home for his family in the 1830s. Throughout the years family members were born and died at the plantation house that was an active farm.
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In 1864 Sherman's Army marched through the area and converged on Burge Plantation. Though they ransacked the house and took valuables and food according to the official written history of the home, but did not destroy it.
It was not until the 1990s that Burge became an establishment used for weddings and events. Over the years the home and the property had seen much. Love and death, war and rejoicing - it's no wonder that a few of its more prominent residents, choose to stay and watch the evolution of the
the home. According to Betsy Morehouse, owner of the plantation home, there are several stories about creepy happenings over the years.
One story is about Tom and Wiley Burge. According to Morehouse, Wiley was Thomas Burge’s son and Tom was his cousin and they were both about 5-years-old when they got lost in the woods around Burge in 1840.
The boys had gone with Aunt Julia, a slave, to pick peaches at the "old place" — the site of the very first Burge home — and on the way decided to stop and pick persimmons while Julia went on ahead of them. The two boys got lost and spent the night in the woods. All the neighbors searched for Wiley and Tom and eventually heard the Burge’s hound dog Dan howling – he had found them.
According to Morehouse, old Dan can still be heard howling around Burge, especially in the mornings, right around the time he located Tom and Wiley. And she herself has caught a glimpse of Julia several times while taking her dogs for a walk. Julia walks in front of her on the road, bag in hand, heading to the old place to pick peaches.
There’s also an old log cabin on the property that was moved from Marks Farm and built in 1840. The farm has been abandoned for years and according to Morehouse several people have reported unusual things happening there. Windows will move up and down and strange sounds – including footsteps – can be heard at the cabins as well. The Burge cemetery sits in front of the cabin and is, according to Morehouse, the most likely source for those odd happenings. People have also seen old Mr. Morehouse in the main Burge house sitting at his desk.
In a home steeped in history it’s no wonder that people long to celebrate their wedding day there. Nor is it any wonder that those who loved Burge Plantation in life, can’t bear to leave it in death.