A little background about the Harris-Cox Plantation.
I never knew its real name until I started doing research for our story. I always called it “the old plantation.” It’s also called “slave manor” by the locals.
Of course everyone says it’s haunted. If you dare spend the night within its walls, you might hear the slaves rattling chains in the dungeon. (There is no dungeon.) The creepy graveyard you can see from the road is where the slaves are buried (nope, it’s family and friends of the family. Sadly, lots of infant graves.)
In all honesty, I figured that it wasn’t a “real” plantation – that it had probably been built more recently to look like a real 1800s-era plantation. In fact, part of the house was a log cabin built in the 1830s. The two-story front addition was added around the Civil War.
Molly has a personal story about what happened when she and a bunch of her friends snuck onto the property at night. I’ll let her share if she wants to.
My Mom told me a story once that she stayed there with a distant cousin and in the middle of the night, her dead brother came in and sat at the foot of her bed. He died in a car crash when she was thirteen. Why would he be at the old plantation? No idea.
I never got to see the inside. I just drove by it morning and night on the way to town. It’s not really much to look at. Old gray siding. The roof is sagging in. No one lives there any more. I wasn’t even sure who owned it.
Luckily Papa knew and he contacted the current owner to see if we could get in. Even better, Mr. Naylor (in his seventies!) met us at the house and shared all the history that he knew. It was incredible. He could describe the various phases of construction and had a story for all the old antiques that are still inside. He knew where the glass for the cabinets came from (the basement of a church) and who owned the ancient hickory rocking chair.
He even knew that the wood on the walls in the second floor addition above the original log cabin was probably from boxcars. When the railroad quit coming through nearby Vista, MO, many people bought boxcars for the lumber. It was so cool to see the old faded numbers on the walls!
If you’re a history buff, I’ll be sharing lots more pictures, so stay tuned!