The plaque in front of the Leroy Pope Mansion reads: During the original Madison County Land Sales of 1809, LeRoy Pope of Petersburg, GA, secured among other purchases a majority of Section 36, Township 3, Range 1 West, the site of the future town of Twickenham, as Huntsville was originally known. Pope created Poplar Grove Plantation on this site and erected his home in 1814 in time to entertain Gen. Andrew Jackson on his return from the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The residence was among the earliest brick structures in Alabama. Inherited by his son, William H. Pope, the mansion was sold in 1848 to Dr. Charles Hays Patton, who commissioned George Steele to add the handsome Classical Revival portico. Nearby during the Civil War, Federal forces built an earthen breastwork to defend the eastern approaches to the city.
But there is more to the story of the Pope Mansion than can bread on plaques. It is said that Leroy Pope Mansion is haunted by the ghosts of two slaves who still roam the property. These two ghosts like to bother audience members of touring groups, and one was even mistaken for a costumed character once. Steve Gentry caught some wonderful photographs of ghosts at a recent ghost walk. They are posted bellow.
Huntsville Ghost Walk meets at Harrison Brothers Hardware Store. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and are available at the hardware store all month. It’s good to get there at least 30 minutes early since the walks start promptly at 6 p.m. Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. Visit the website or call (256) 509-3940.