Ghosts of the Square

History museum hosts downtown ghost tour

For the past four years, The Williamson Museum has hosted a ghost tour on the Square, highlighting stories of haunted buildings and strange occurrences that have been shared for many years.

Museum Executive Director Mickie Ross said each year she hears new stories from visitors that have had similar experiences in many of the historic buildings on the Square.

"[All the stories] are based on history that happened here and the people who lived here," Ross said.

The Williamson Museum will host tours this year Oct. 25 and 26 from 8–9:30 p.m. Tours leave every thirty minutes. Tickets are $12 for museum members and $15 for nonmembers.

Ross said the museum is also expected to host a spring ghost tour in April.

Here are a few of the stories shared during the tour.

Stories

Cobblestone Antiques building, 712 S. Austin Ave.

Built in 1895, the building now housing the Cobblestone Antiques store probably did not have an enclosed upstairs until the 1940s, according to The Williamson Museum. Cobblestone customers have reported seeing three different figures in the shop's upstairs area. Others have said they heard high-pitched noises and have seen items fall off shelves. One reported spirit said to haunt the shop is known as Leanne. A previous shop owner was said to greet Leanne every morning in order to ensure a calm day in the shop with little paranormal activity.

Former Chupa Rosa Mexican Imports building, 704 S. Austin Ave.

The building, which was built in 1894 and is now vacant, once served as a dry goods store and has been a variety of retail shops. The building is said to be occupied by Luther St. Paul Miller, who may have owned the land that became the alley area behind the building as early as the 1860s. The alley later became part of the current property. When the interior had two floors, an older man in his 50s or 60s with white hair—believed to be Miller—was often seen standing at the top of the stairs.

Historic Firehouse and Old City Hall (Now Georgetown Art Center), 816 S. Main St.

Built to house the volunteer fire department in 1892, the former firehouse has also housed city offices, the city jail and at one time the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce offices. When the building served as a fire station, there were reports from firefighters of hearing footsteps on the second floor while no one was known to be upstairs. A tall cowboy in a hat and duster has also been seen walking down the stairs of the building. The same figure has been seen wandering around the Square.

Masonic Building (Now Gumbo's North), 701 S. Main St.

Belford Lumber Co. built the old Masonic Building in 1900 featuring an arched door and window openings. Over the years the building has been a drug store, post office, furniture store and several restaurants. The Masons met in the building until 1982. Former tenants reported seeing doors open and close on their own and feelings of unease when in the building late at night.

M.B. Lockett Building, 119 W. Seventh St.

The Lockett Building, which has housed several Georgetown restaurants, was built after the Civil War. In 1889 Ohio native Melville Beveridge Lockett opened a store and in 1896 remodeled the building to its current Victorian design, according to the site's historical marker. Lockett and his wife had five daughters, several of whom attended Southwestern University. A former business owner in the building said he would often find the chairs in the third-story banquet room moved to be lined up in the front windows. Others have reported hearing footsteps and doors opening and closing when alone on the third floor.

Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main St.

The current Williamson County Courthouse was built on the Square in 1911. People in the courthouse have reported seeing a woman in a long dress who disappeared once approached. Others have reported people walking around after hours and book pages turning by themselves.

Austin-based Spirits Ghost Tours of Texas will host a ghost tour and paranormal investigation at the Williamson County Courthouse on Oct. 26. For information, visit www.spiritsghosttours.com.

Source: The Williamson Museum



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