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McLean House

McLean House paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 08/03/2017
DBA Approved: Y


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PANICd#: 1912

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The McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia is within the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. This location served as the location of the surrender of the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865.

111 National Park Dr
Appomattox , VA 24522
Phone: (434) 352-8987
Open to the public: Yes

https://www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm

Lat: 37.3775201
Lon: -78.79600690000001

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 2
Stories: 1
Claims: 2
Evidence: 0
Resources: 11
Retrievals: 8040
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

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History

History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.


The McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia is within the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Then owned by Wilmer McLean and his wife Virginia, the house near the end of the American Civil War served as the location of the surrender of the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, after a nearby battle. The reconstructed house was registered in the National Park Service's database of Official Structures on June 26, 1989.

The McLean House was originally built by Charles Raine in 1848. Eliza D. Raine's estate sold the house to Wilmer McLean in 1863. It had formerly been a tavern (not to be confused with the nearby Clover Hill Tavern, which Raine had previously owned). One of the first battles of the American Civil War took place on the farm of Wilmer McLean at Bull Run, Virginia, the First Battle of Bull Run (First Battle of Manassas). Soon after that battle the McLeans, seeking to avoid the war, moved to the village of Clover Hill, Virginia (the name of which was changed to "Appomattox Court House," having just become the county seat). Because of the name of the village, many mistakenly think the surrender was signed in the courthouse building. (In years past, the county seats of many rural counties, especially in Virginia, had names that were simply the name of the county plus "Court House"; some of these remain today. The courthouse is about 3 miles (5 km)) from the Appomattox Station where the trains came into Appomattox, Virginia.

Added by: sdonley on 07/29/2019 DB#:433
Source(s):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLean_House_(Appoma...


The Post War Years

The McLeans left Appomattox Court House and returned to Mrs. McLean's Prince William County, Virginia estate in the fall of 1867. When Wilmer McLean defaulted on repayment of loans, the banking house of Harrison, Goddin, and Apperson of Richmond, Virginia brought a judgment against him, and the "Surrender House" was sold at public auction on November 29, 1869. The house was purchased by John L. Pascoe and apparently rented to the Ragland family formerly of Richmond.

In 1872 Nathaniel H. Ragland purchased the property for $1250.00. On January 1, 1891 the property was sold by the widow Ragland for the sum of $10,000 to Captain Myron Dunlap of Niagara Falls, New York. Myron Dunlap and fellow speculators went through two or three plans intending to capitalize on the notoriety of the property, one idea was to dismantle the home and move it to Chicago as an exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

A later option was to move the house to Washington, D.C. and charge entrance fees. Measured drawings including elevations and materials specifications lists were produced, the house was dismantled and packed for shipping, but due to cash flow and legal problems the plan was never brought to fruition. The home sat dismantled in piles prey to vandals, collectors, and the environment for fifty years.

The Park Service Years - 1940 to Present

On April 10th 1940 Appomattox Court House National Historical Monument was created by Congress to include approximately 970 acres. In February 1941 archeological work was begun at the site, then overgrown with brush and honeysuckle. Historical data was collected, and architectural working plans were drawn up to begin the meticulous reconstruction process. The whole project was brought to a swift stop on December 7, 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces causing the United States entry into World War II.

On November 25, 1947 bids for the reconstruction of the McLean House were opened and on April 9th 1949, eighty four years after the historic meeting reuniting the country, the McLean House was opened by the National Park Service for the first time to the public. At the dedication ceremony on April 16, 1950, after a speech by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Douglas Southall Freeman, Major General U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee IV, direct descendents of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses Grant, cut the ceremonial ribbon. The event was attended by an audience of approximately 20,000.

Added by: sdonley on 07/29/2019 DB#:434
Source(s):
https://www.nps.gov/apco/mclean-house.htm


Stories

Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.


When we visited this location, we heard of 2 paranormal related stories that we would like to share.

The image of an officer slowly riding a horse.

There was a report posted out on the Internet that was relayed to us about an older farmer in the area that witnessed an apparition early one morning of a man dressed in an officer's uniform riding a horse slowly towards the house. He didn't make any sound at all, and the farmer followed him all the way to the McClain house. When the office got off his horse and started to walk towards the house, he disappeared. Could this be a residual apparition of Lee riding up to the house for the surrender?

The Silent Witness Doll

The second story we heard about what the Silent Witness Doll. To summarize: The doll was left in the parlor by one of the McClean's daughters on accident. It was in the room during the signing of the surrender and the officers in the room were playing with it throwing it about the room. After the surrender was over, many objects were taken from the McClean house as souvenirs and the doll was one of them. Many years later, the doll was donated to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in December 1992, and is now on permanent exhibit at the park.

At the time we were there, there was a duplicate doll in the parlor of the room. We were told by one of the staff members, that they doll will sometimes change places within the room and nobody has moved it. Could this be the soldiers playing with the doll again or is something else there trying to get the doll back and putting it in different locations. One time it was even found laying in the middle of the floor when the building was opened up for the day.

Witness Doll
The Original Silent Witness Doll in the museum.

Added by: sdonley on 07/29/2019 DB#:1436
Source(s):
Tour Guide Interview


Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact PANICd.com, and we will review and add your information.


Claim # Added Added By Claim
2897 07/29/2019 sdonley The apparition of an Officer has been reported riding up to the house.
2898 07/29/2019 sdonley The doll in the parlor has been found in different places when nobody has moved it.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

To add evidence for a claim, you must submit it to PANICd.com for approval to be entered into the database.


No Evidence Reported Yet!

Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.


Wikipedia Entry
Added: 08/03/2017 By: sdonley
Wikipedia Entry for this location.
Timeline of House
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
PDF by the Nation Park Service about the timeline of the house.
The Silent Witness - Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
The McLean House - Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
Trip Advisor
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Trip Advisor Information
Rebuilding McLean House was an insult to some
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
The McLean House: Symbol of Reunification or Surrender Grounds?
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
McLean House
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
The McLean House at the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park is a reconstruction of the building where Lee surrendered to Grant in the Civil War.
How the Civil War Stalked Wilmer McLean - HISTORY
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
The Civil War seemed to stalk unfortunate Wilmer McLean, who could say that the conflict began in his front yard and ended in his front parlor.
McLean House - Appomattox - Virginia Is For Lovers
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
The McLean House Historical Marker
Added: 07/29/2019 By: sdonley
Here in the parlor of Wilmer Mclean's home on April 9 - Palm Sunday - 1865 Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. (A historical marker located in Appomattox in Appomattox County, Virginia.)

Location Comments

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