Waverly Hills was built in the early 1900s and was a tuberculosis hospital. During this time the hospital was one of the most modern in the United States. Many people were cured but more than 63,000 people died there.
There was a body chute that was a tunnel that ran from the hospital down the hill. During the time of when so many people were dying each day from tuberculosis- the bodies were taken out through the tunnel as not to upset the remaining patients.
After closing in the 1960s rumors of ghost and strange sightings began to surface.
Plans for Waverly Hills Sanitarium
(from the Courier Journal)
The rooms may be standard, and the location is a bit out-of-the-way, but Charlie Mattingly thinks his planned hotel in southwest Jefferson County will have a unique draw:
It’s a creepy, old, five-story building with a morgue, a “body chute” and guest rooms where people once lay dying of tuberculosis.
Mattingly and his architect, Kevin Milburn of Urban Designz, are dead serious about turning the old Waverly Hills Sanatorium into a 78-room boutique hotel with a spa, fitness center and meeting space for business groups.
The former hospital off Dixie Highway already is a mecca for ghost hunters, who come by the thousands each year to search for paranormal activity. A film crew from the Travel Channel was there last month, and talk-show host Maury Povich sent a crew this week.
Its haunted history was the focus of a six-hour special on the Sci Fi Channel last fall, and the property regularly turns up on lists of the nation’s most haunted places. Web sites dedicated to the property feature photos of people who mysteriously appear in windows, and audio files of unexplained noises.
Mattingly, who bought the 30-acre property for $225,000 in 2001 with his wife, Tina, said preserving the site’s haunted character will be a key part of what he estimates will be an $18 million renovation. Project details were to be announced to local officials and the media at 4:30 p.m. today.
“My intent is for this to be first class all the way,” Mattingly said of the hotel, which he said could open in early 2010 — assuming financing is arranged.
Mattingly, who grew up in Shively and until recently worked at Ford Motor Co., said that banks “more or less laughed at me” when he first began applying for loans to renovate the property.
But after seven years of upgrades, historical research and architectural studies, he said conversations about financing now are under way with Porter Bancorp, StockYards Bank & Trust, Republic Bancorp and JP Morgan Chase, and he’s confident he’ll be able to start construction late this year.
Milburn said the project should qualify for federal tax credits because of its historical significance. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though it remains heavily damaged by years of vandalism and decay. Already, Mattingly has had dozens of windows replaced, rooftops and mortar repaired and ceilings insulated. And Milburn said they soon will select contractors to oversee further construction.
Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson, called the project “exciting for south Louisville and for the entire city.”
He’s a believer
Mattingly, 49, said he wasn’t a believer in Waverly Hills’ haunted reputation until he bought the place and began recording video inside. He said his films show streaks of light and glowing orbs at times when footage of the surrounding neighborhood was perfectly normal.
For the last year, the Mattinglys have lived on the property, where Tina Mattingly runs the nonprofit Waverly Hills Historical Society. The couple has relatives on both sides of the family who were treated for tuberculosis at the sanatorium.
The main hospital building, with 160,000 square feet, was built in 1926. It sits on a ridge just a few hundred yards from the bustling auto dealers, apartments and restaurants of Dixie Highway, but is shrouded in trees and dense undergrowth.
Signs posted at the entrances warn trespassers, and cameras mounted on the hospital’s exterior are there to catch would-be vandals.
The hotel plans call for a solar-powered electric system, floors made of sustainable materials such as cork or recycled rubber, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
A parking structure would be built in front of the hospital, with a rooftop garden visible from the long concrete sun porches where patients once spent their days lying in bed. The infamous body chute is an underground steam tunnel that hospital officials used to remove bodies on gurneys, out of sight of the surviving patients.
About 3,000 people tour Waverly Hills annually, with most of them paying a $20 donation. Ghost hunters also can pay $100 each to roam the hallways all night in search of spooky noises and paranormal activity.
Jim Wood, president of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said ghost tours are a growing tourism draw, and he called Waverly Hills “an architectural wonder.”
But since haunted hotels cater to a niche market, Wood said Waverly Hills may need to attract a wider audience to be a viable business.
That’s the approach at The Lemp Mansion, a bed and breakfast in St. Louis in a home where three members of the Lemp family committed suicide between 1902 and 1949. About two-thirds of the mansion’s guests today come for the haunted history, but spokeswoman Mary Wolff said the property also holds wedding receptions, private parties and other events.
Read more about the ghost investigations at Waverly Hills
READ ABOUT MORE SCARRY PLACES
Baxter Avenue Morgue AKA Vanderdark Morgue
I thought I would share these photos with you. I found them in a photo album while going through some of my father’s belongings. I think some of the pictures were taken on River Road but not sure of the year or which flood this might have been. The boat in the second picture does look very old.
I have a degree in Applied Science where I mainly worked in the United Kingdom. During my internship at Gloucester Royal Hospital I participated in the Stonehouse Meningitis Survey which collected research and later was used in the development of a vaccine. I moved away from the medical field and worked at Whitbread Brewery where I was involved in quality control. After having my daughter I started Barrett’s Office Cleaning where in the first year we had branched out to two towns where we had over twelve contracts including Pizza Hut, William Hills, and various businesses.
After returning to the United States to take care of elderly parents I have been involved mostly in community work with the Portland Museum, The Neighborhood House, The Portland Branch Library with helping organize events and outreach to the community. I had the pleasure to organize and represent the community of Portland at the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration in 2003 where many local nonprofit organizations joined under one tent for the 13 day celebration.
I achieved my real estate license from the first online classes offered in Kentucky from Thornton’s Real Estate Academy in Bowling Green, KY after which time I joined Semonin Realtors and now currently with Compass Realtors. I have since developed a network of local professionals that I am confident can respond to concerns that might arise and that I will be able to help with you with all your needs.
During the tax season I am a Tax Specialist 2 for H&R Block.
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As a Realtor I spend my time helping sellers/buyers and investors achieve their goals. H & R Block lets me continue to help clients meet their financial goals and give advice to help them plan for the future. Please make an appointment so I can help you meet YOUR goals! Years of Tax Experience: 4
CENTRAL STATION SHOPPING CENTER
3129 S 2ND ST
LOUISVILLE, KY 40209
Besides being a Realtor I love local history. I have put together a collection that I hope you like. If you have any photographs or stories you would like to add contact me. I am sure others will love to read them.
Cell: (502)876-7518 Or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SELLER VERY MOTIVATED AND WILL CONSIDER ANY REASONABLE OFFER.
Check out the comfortable size and bargain price of this ranch home in Park Forest. Great features include 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, welcoming living room, and efficient kitchen. Needs updating but great for small starter home or rental property.
The original/first Big Four Bridge had a pedestrian walk-way on the west (downriver side). It was opened in 1895 and in use till 1929 when a newly constructed replacement bridge using the same bridge piers replaced it. Everything old is new again- the pedestrian usage is an idea that was put into effect over 100 years ago.
The viaducts or high trestle elevated structures of the Big Four Bridge stretched out for a little over three miles and in three different directions. On the Kentucky side one arm split off crossing over the current skate park and toward Louisville’s Baseball Park-this formerly housed the big four rail freight terminal. The rail touched down just east of the expressway at Hancock Street.
The other split, the lengthier of the two, crossed over dozens of streets with another access ramp at Franklin and Wenzel Streets. It continued airborne for many more blocks until finally touching down at East Main Street and Mellwood Avenue (east of the Old Bourbon Stockyards).
On the Indiana side the elevated structure continued northward withthe exception of the access ramp immediately after crossing the bridge which touched earth about four blocks later.The elevated structure carried on for another 3/4 of a mile northward finally coming to rest just west of The Quartermaster Depot.
Louisville’s elevated trains ran day and night over many homes and businesses They carried all manner of goods, merchandise, passengers, and daily commuters, all of which created a scenario more likened to Chicago or New York.
A high speed lightweight electric train of the Indiana RR crosses the Big Four Bridge some time in the 1930’s. The last electric trains crossed this bridge in October 1939, while electric trains continued on the K&I Bridge until the eve of 1946.
One organized outing by the 4-H clubs in and around Columbus, Indiana chartered three trains, each consisting of 3 cars cars each for a trip into Louisville in September of 1939. The 800 or so farm kids and their escorts then took a river cruise and returned the same day.
Electric trains survived in Louisville until the eve of 1946. The above newspaper advertisement is cira of 1941. Electric rapid transit was smart, swift and a thrifty buy for either group or individual travel.
All information contributed by Ron Schooling- Thanks!
Louisville’s Thomas Edison House is located in historic Butchertown, a neighborhood which has been known as the center of meat production in this city for over 200 years. It was also one of the areas Thomas Alva Edison called home during the years he lived and worked in Louisville.
Edison came to Louisville in 1866, at the young age of 19, to work as a telegraph key operator. With his skill at receiving telegraph messages, Thomas Edison had little difficulty landing a job with the Western Union located on Second and West Main Street — about eight blocks from this home. Apparently, Louisville was also experiencing a shortage of telegraph operators at the time.
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Rising waters, soaring spirits
An excellent account of the 1937 flood
For generations of Louisvillians, the 1937 flood was much more than a historical event. It was a watershed. And hundreds, maybe thousands, grew up on the stories of good humor, courage and endurance that marked the months of January and February 1937.
Rick Bell, who is overseeing the restoration of the Marine Hospital in Portland, has pulled all of these emotions, as well as many, many facts together, quite remarkably, in his new book, The Great Flood of 1937. For those who care about our city, and its history, this is an indispensable book.
(It is also the third significant contribution to local history in recent months by Butler Books of Louisville, which published Louisville Then and Now and Brandeis at 150 in 2006.)
In a comprehensive, yet breezy text, with an outstanding collection of photographs, Bell recreates the weeks of seemingly endless sacrifice. Remember, the flood came at one of the lowest points of the Great Depression. Louisville and other cities already were suffering; the rains of January 1937 only made matters much worse.
Those who lived through the flood, those whose families survived to tell the stories and those for whom it was merely a historical event will welcome The Great Flood of 1937.
(From the Courier-Journal)
In 1830 the Louisville and Portland Canal opened for business. Until then the only way down the Ohio River was through the Falls of the Ohio. These were a series of rapids that had to navigated by experienced river men. During the course of the rapids the river dropped 26 feet and was a very dangerous trip.
Many boat that carried goods had to unloaded at the 4th Street Wharf in downtown Louisville and taken to the Portland Wharf that was pass the Falls of the Ohio. This took time and as time changed a new way to navigate the river was needed.
The canal had to be dug through rock and cost more than first estimated. It was plagued with finical difficulties all the way through the project until Congress had to invest money for it to be finished. When finished the canal was only 50 feet wide.
Finical difficulties continued for many years after the canal was built and the government ended up owning the canal. In 1960 the Louisville and Portland Canal became the McAlpine Locks and Dam. Since there has been many improvements to the canal has been made. The canal is taken care of by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
To read more about the exciting things happening at McAlpine Locks and Dam today visit:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The changing views of the canal
Shippingport, Kentucky was given to John Campbell in 1785 for his service in the French and Indian War. At that time it became known as Campbell Town. It was sold in 1803 and renamed Shippingport.
The population grew from 98 to over 500 and at one time challenged the 4th Street Wharf in downtown Louisville. At that time a warehouse and mill was built on Shippingport and soon began to export their goods. Elm Tree Garden became a popular spot for horse-racing and was well known. In 1817 a six-story flour mill built because how successful Shippingport had become.
In 1825 the building of the Louisville and Portland Canal and made Shippingport into an island. It soon became known as Shippingport Island and is locally known by that name today.
Over the years the Louisville and Portland Canal was gradually widened to keep up with the steamboats and later barges that carried products from one end of the country to another. A hydroelectric plant was also built on the island as time changed. Slowly residents and businesses began to close and leave.
The area was devastated by the flood of 1937 when most of Louisville was under water. It forced the island to evacuate until the river returned to it’s banks. Many people never returned because their homes were completely destroyed.
In 1958 the government acquired the property by eminent domain to widen the canal. They evicted many families that had lived there for over a 100 years.
MC HARRY STREET
None: bottle may be free blown and uneven shape dating before 1860 or the bottle may have an even shape but spun in the mold to smoth out the seams- a common practice around 1900-1920.
BIM: side seams run from base and end below the top of lip. This is a result of Bowing In Mold (BIM). The lip is usually applied by hand later.
3PM: (3 piece mold) Bottom half (from base to shoulder) has no seams then there are seams near the shoulder that runs completely around the bottle. Two side seams run up the neck and end below the top of the lip. This was used from 1840-70. The lip was also applied by hand later.
ABM: if the side seams run through the top of the lip then it made this way. AMB stands for Automatic Bottle Machine. This type of bottle making started appearing in 1905 and by 1920 most bottles were made like this.
55-foot (17-meter) Keelboat
2 Pirogues (open boats)
Square sail (also called a broad sail)
150 Yards (140 meters) of cloth to be oiled and sewn into tents and sheets
6 Large needles
30 Steels for striking or making fire
Iron corn mill
2 Dozen tablespoons
10.5 Pounds (5 kilograms) of fishing hooks and fishing lines
12 Pounds (5.4 kilograms) of soap
193 Pounds (87.5 kilograms) of “portable soup” (a thick paste concocted by boiling down beef, eggs, and vegetables, to be used if no other food was available on the trail)
3 Bushels (106 liters) of salt
Writing paper, ink and crayons
45 Flannel shirts
15 Pairs wool overalls
50 Dozen Dr. Rush’s patented “Rush’s Thunderclapper” pills
1,300 Doses of physic
1,100 Doses of emetic
3,500 Doses of diaphoretic (sweat inducer)
15 Prototype Model 1803 muzzle-loading .54-caliber rifles “Kentucky Rifles”
15 Gun slings
24 Large knives
500 Rifle flints
420 Pounds (191 kilograms) of sheet lead for bullets
176 Pounds (80 kilograms) of gunpowder packed in 52 lead canisters
1 Long-barreled rifle that fired its bullet with compressed air, rather than by flint, spark, and powder
1 Hadley’s quadrant
1 Set of plotting instruments
1 Chronometer (needed to calculate longitude; at $250 it was the most expensive item)
1 Portable microscope
1 Tape measure
PRESENTS FOR INDIAN TRIBES ENCOUNTERED
12 Dozen pocket mirrors
4,600 Sewing needles
144 Small scissors
10 Pounds (4.5 kilograms) of sewing thread
Yards of bright-colored cloth
130 Rolls of tobacco
Tomahawks that doubled as pipes
8 Brass kettles
Vermilion face paint
20 Pounds (9 kilograms) of assorted beads, mostly blue
5 Pounds (2 kilograms) of small, white, glass beads
288 Brass thimbles
BOOKS,TABLES, AND MAPS
A Practical Introduction to Spherics and Nautical Astronomy
Antoine Simon’s Le Page du Pratz’s History of Louisiana
Barton’s Elements of Botany
Linnaeus (2-volume edition), the Latin classification of plants
Richard Kirwan’s Elements of Mineralogy
The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris
Tables for finding longitude and latitude
Map of the Great Bend of the Missouri River
Fontaine Ferry Park
. Aaron Fontaine bought the site where the amusement park would stand from William Lytle in 1814. At that time the property was called Carter’s ferry which later was named Fontaine Ferry. Here stood a house that faced the Ohio River and a landing for boats.It was located at 230 Southwestern Parkway, Louisville KY.
In the 1880’s a resort was built on the Fontaine estate. The Fontaine Hotel and Restaurant opened and was a great success. Not long after the owners began to build an amusement park.
The grand opening was in May of 1905. It had four roller coasters, ferris wheel, games as well as a bicycle track where many major races were held. It was so successful that it soon became one of the most famous parks in the country.
As time passed other attractions were added like a swimming pool and a dance hall. In 1960 to keep up with the changing times the park unveiled it’s newest attraction which was the Turnpike. It was a concrete road that was a half mile long, which you drove miniature sports cars.
Over the years some of the most memorable attractions have been Gypsy Village, Hilarity Hall, Scenic Railway, Velvet Racer, Wheel of Joy, Sugar Bowl, and the Comet.
Stone craving and glass ornament made by Al Nelson especially for one of my history exhibits.
Fontaine Ferry Postal Studio
After operating for more than 80 years Fontaine Ferry closed. It was bought and named Ghost Town on the River and later Glen Park but the magic didn’t seem to remain after Fontaine Ferry closed.
Fontaine Estates replaced what was know as the “Dude” Ranch- the street is called Fontaine Landing
In 1976 a fire destroyed most of the building. I was a young child at the time and remember my father and I went to see what had happen. We parked down the street and walked up to where the front entrance was. We stood across the street watching while flames seemed to grow higher in the air as the fire fighters tried to put it out. Even at that time I could see how sad that my dad was to see this great piece of history go up in flames. He still has many fond memories of this old park.
Not long after the fire the city bought the land and it became part of Shawnee Park.
|Aaron Fontaine||Design A Roller Coaster||Kentucky Life||Memories of Fontaine Ferry|