The Martha Washington Inn was built in 1832 by General Francis Preston, hero of the War of 1812. He had a large family that included nine children and he needed a spacious building to safely bring them up.
The Preston family kept hold of the building until 1858 when the founders of Martha Washington College decided to purchase it off the family.
The Love Story
During the Civil War the inn was changed from a college into a hospital for the wounded soldiers. The majority of the students that were studying to become nurses stayed on at the college/hospital to help out with the wounded.
One day a young Yankee captain, John Stoves, ended up being injured and then captured. Luckily for him, he was taken straight to the Martha Washington for treatment.
He ended up in room number 403 with a young student nurse named Beth looking after him.
Stoves injuries turned out to be too severe for treatment and Beth decided to sit by his bedside and play her violin to him until he passed over.
Beth herself died soon after from typhoid fever.
There have been numerous reports over recent years concerning the sound of a violin playing inside room 403.
There have also been several reports of a ghostly apparition of a young nurse lady appearing in the room from time to time.
A young Confederate soldier in Abingdon started a relationship with yet another nurse in the Martha Washington Inn Hospital.
The pair realized that their relationship was a risky one so the Confederate soldier decided to leave the building for safer grounds.
He decided that he needed to see the love of his life one more time before leaving and used an underground cave system to re-enter the college.
The pair of lovers spent a few final hours together before the Confederate soldier was discovered on his way out of the building by two Union officers.
He was tragically shot in front of his lover and died upon the main staircase.
The bloodstain that he left that night refuses to go away. Carpets over the area often develop strange holes where the stains lay. Even after the floors have been refinished, the stain continues to reappear, a sad reminder of the tragedy of the Civil War.
The Phantom Horse
In 1864 a Union soldier arrived at the Martha Washington on horseback only to be gunned down outside shortly afterwards.
Ever since the incident a phantom horse has been seen roaming the grounds on moonless nights. Is this the spirit of the horse looking for it’s Union owner?
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