I can’t go too long without telling you about our very own little Victorian ghost. When we were in the process of buying our home, I went to the local museum to get as much historical information on the home as possible. The information contained a list of all the families who had lived in our home since it was built in 1887. The Millar family lived in our home from 1905 to 1950.
I was able to find a descendant of the Millars shortly after we purchased our house. I had looked up Millar family names online and sent out letters to several introducing myself and asking if they were related to the Millars who lived in our home. This turned out to be so amazingly successful. I got a call one day from a lady named Dorothy Repp who was the granddaughter of the Millars who bought our home in 1905. She and I became great friends over the years and she came out with her photo albums and stories of staying with her grandparents in our house. One of the stories was of her aunt Gracie who fell out of the hayloft of the barn when she was 8 years old and was in a coma for several days and ended up dying in what is now our bedroom on Christmas Day. Most of her stories were very fascinating about their way of life back in those days, but this story was just so sad and really stuck with me.
One morning after we had been in the house for a couple years, my husband came to me and said he had something to tell me and that I should sit down. Well, for one thing he never says that, and for another, he is always playing practical jokes so I didn’t know what to think….but judging from the sound of his voice – I sat down! He said that around 1:00 that morning he heard something in our bedroom and looked up and saw a little girl standing by my side of the bed. He said she was not a transparent vision, but just like looking at you or me. He said she bent down and said my name and was trying to tell me something softly. At this point he thought possibly he was dreaming, so he raised himself up on his elbows to get a better look and she looked up at him and their eyes met for a short time and then she just slowly faded away. He told me how tall she was and described in detail what she was wearing and how her hair looked. He had described 1800s style clothes and hair. I immediately thought of Dorothy’s aunt Gracie that she had told me about. I was so sad that I didn’t sense anything that night, I would have loved to have seen her.
Dorothy and I had been staying in touch through email, so the next day I emailed Dorothy and told her about our “happening” and she agreed with me that it sounded like it could be Gracie. I asked her if she had any photos of Gracie and she said she would check and let me know. She was a busy lady and it was over a year before she came out with photos of Gracie and I could hardly wait until Steve looked at the photos. He took one look at the first photo and said that it definitely was Gracie who he saw. The clothes in the photo were very close to what he remembered her wearing the night he saw her. I was just thrilled about having Gracie visit us. The Hillsboro Argus newspaper did an article on our home and mentioned Gracie and shortly afterward I got a call from Dorothy’s sister-in-law who told me she had an original portrait of Gracie and most of her family didn’t know who Gracie was and that she wanted to bring Gracie back home and give the portrait to us. She brought us the portrait shortly after that and I have it hanging on my “history” wall in the library, next to photos of her parents that Dorothy had let me copy.
We haven’t seen Gracie since that night, but we still hear footsteps now and then and have unexplained things that happen now and then in the house. It is all very fascinating to me and both Steve and I are comfortable in “sharing” our house with the previous residents. We feel Gracie was trying to tell us she was happy with our work bringing her house back to life.