|Woodruff Fontaine House|
This old mansion is a museum that offers tours today. It was originally built in 1870.
Amos Woodruff came to Memphis, Tennessee in 1845. He was a carriage maker that made his fortune fast. He then delved into a variety of other enterprises.
All were successful. He ran two banks, a railroad, and a hotel. He had a hand in construction and the lumber and cotton industries.
A leading member of Memphis society he ran for mayor twice. He had a fancy mansion built for his family in 1870. It was in the French Victorian style with Mansard roofs, arched windows and stately columns on the porch.
A carriage house, courtyard fountain, elaborate gardens and a sweeping front lawn surrounded his new mansion.
In 1871, his daughter Mollie married in the home. She became Mollie Fontaine Henning and inherited the property when her father died. None of her children lived to adulthood. She lived in the mansion until she died.
Her ghost is one of three that haunt the home to this day.
Another successful family by the name of Fontaine moved into the mansion. Noland Fontaine was a cotton baron.
In 1929 the mansion became an antique shop and then in 1959 an art school moved in. By 1961, the once grand mansion was in desperate need of repairs.
A local Memphis preservation society (APTA) came to the rescue. They restored the mansion and opened the Woodruff Fontaine Museum in 1964.
|Mollie Woodruff Henning|
|Rose Room named after patterned|
wallpaper in room.
It was around this time that Mollie Woodruff Henning’s ghost became more active. She often hangs out in her old bedroom, known as the Rose Room, on the 2nd floor.
She is known to sit on the bed leaving dents so people know she was there. Since the Rose Room is roped off to tours no one is allowed close to this bed.
Visitors have seen the rocking chair move in this room and the bed covers rustle. It is here where people note drastic changes in the temperature.
|Indent in bed in Rose Room.|
Lights go on and off in this room as well as the rest of the mansion without explanation.
Mollie’s ghost startled a museum docent one day when she appeared in the Rose Room. She informed this lady that she preferred the furniture in the room be placed back in its original arrangement.
Her ghost wanders throughout the mansion. She likes to follow people that are doing something different or interesting. One paranormal team investigating the mansion went down into the basement.
Evidently Mollie followed them for they captured her voice on one recorder. She told them that she rarely went into the basement.
Unlike Mollie, who is a friendly ghost, another entity in the mansion is an angry male. He ripped off the necklace from a staff member one day and his negative spirit is sensed on both the 1st and 3rd floors.
A paranormal team caught his gruff voice during one EVP session. He answered “no” to their questions. His ghost has not been connected to anyone who once lived in the home.
Yet another male ghost in the home is believed to be the Fontaine’s son. Another docent who works for the preservation society saw his ghost one Sunday afternoon when she was the only one in the mansion.
As she made her way up to the 3rd floor she spotted a man sitting at the foot of the stairs that lead to the 4th floor tower room. He was so lifelike she at first thought he must be a man that found himself locked in the mansion after a tour.
But when she looked closer she realized he looked just like a photograph she had seen of the Fontaine son, Elliot. Frightened she backed down the stairs and closed her eyes. When she looked once more he was gone.