It is a gloomy cloudy winter afternoon when we got to Waverly in the winter-bare prairie land along the Tombigbee River between West Point and Columbus. The house is hollow in the middle, sort of like Longwood in Natchez. Wonderful in summer, it creates an updraft for cooling. But this time of year all of the heat from the ground floor just floats up to the ceiling, 55 feet above your head. But even a cold winter day didn’t stop tourists from flocking to see Waverly.
The house has a fascinating story. The Young family built it, finished in 1858. Then after the Civil War two for the children, brothers returned to Waverly and lived out their lives there as bachelors. After the last one died in 1913 Waverly was abandoned. And for 50 years it sat deserted as the woods and the underbrush reclaimed it. Until 1962 when the Snow family, antique dealers from Philadelphia, Mississippi found out about the house and bought it and set out on a half-century quest of restoration.
Somewhere in those early years, Mrs. Snow discovered they weren’t alone in Waverly. Evidently, an unseen guest from the past was also there. She could hear a little girl calling for its mama occasionally. Tour guide for 13 years, Jimmy Dinning says the ghost story is just as much an attraction as the house’s unusual architecture.
Waverly tour guide Jimmy Dinning agrees. “It is indeed. And it’s part of the history.”
For the record, Jimmy says he has NOT seen the ghost. But wouldn’t mind. He’s not afraid. However, one thing those of us who are fans of Waverly WERE afraid of was the news that the Snow family children had Waverly up for sale.
Well, here’s a hot flash on a cold day it has been sold. Jimmy Dinning tells us, “Well, Mr. Charlie Stevenson and his wife Dana purchased the house on the 21st of December this past year He intends to keep it open for tours. Ultimately he and his wife are going to move into the house.”
So the Stevenson’s will pick up where the Snow’s left off and we will still get to take a peek now and again. And who knows, maybe someday WE’LL see the little girl ghost for ourselves.